David Cameron's billion pound EU stand-off: what you need to know

David Cameron has said Britain will not hand over an extra £1.7bn (€2.1bn) to the European Union by December 1.

The surcharge is being levied because the UK economy has fared more strongly than other member states since 1995. It would add nearly a fifth to the UK’s annual contribution to the EU of £8.6bn. Preliminary figures seen by the Financial Times suggest that Britain is facing by far the biggest top-up, while the Netherlands is being asked for an extra 642 million euro (£506 million).

By contrast, Germany receives a rebate of 779 million euro (£614 million), France one billion (£788.7 million) and Poland 316 million (£249 million).

The Prime Minister said he had only learned of the surprise surcharge, which he denounced as “completely unacceptable”, at the beginning of an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels.

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