An EU summit in Brussels has ended in a blazing row after British Prime Minister David Cameron refused to pay a two billion euro bill by December 1.
He said he found out on Thursday about the new surcharge, which would be paid into the EU budget.
“We’re a member of this organisation and we have invested in this organisation, and we are a leading player in it and you do not join an association that suddenly thumps you with a bill for of two billion euros three weeks before you have to pay. It is not an acceptable way to behave,” the British premier told reporters.
The request for additional funds comes after a change in accounting rules.
EU officials say that because Britain’s economy has fared better than first thought, it needs to pay more money into the bloc’s budget.
Cameron was rebuffed by a number of his counterparts, including Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
“Clearly you sign on for Europe, Europe has rules and the rules must be obeyed,” Kenny said during his post-summit press conference.
The Netherlands and Italy have also been handed surcharges.
But the news comes at a particularly bad time for Cameron.
His Conservative Party faces a tough by-election in Rochester, south east England next month.
Opinions polls say that the Tories will lose that electoral battle to Eurosceptic outfit UKIP.