European Union Wants Extra $2.7 Billion From Britain


European Union

The European Union has requested that Britain give them an extra $2.7 billion for the budget, in which Britain is currently denying them what they want. The announcement came to Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday, when he rejected the request stating that it was “totally unacceptable.” As Cameron faces re-election, many in Britain do not want to be involved with the European Union, in the first place, making this decision an increasingly hard one for him as he denies the request and waits to see results.

The request came after the European Union supposedly recalculated the results for how well Britain had been doing. The results of the recalculation showed that Britain’s economy had actually been doing much better, than they had thought in previous years. As Britain usually gives to the European budget, in accordance with the numbers that the economy does, the EU decided that it was only fitting that Britain give them the $2.7 billion (actually around $1.7 billion in pounds) in order to make up for the lost contributions over the years. According to sources, Britain already made a $13.8 billion contribution to the treasury this year. They contribute annually.

Though the European Union feels like they are due the money that they feel they should have had, previously, the residents of Britain feel like this is a punishment to them for having a better economy. The problem is that residents of Britain are not exactly happy about being part of the European Union. As Prime Minister David Cameron has promised his people that he would reduce overall spending and contributions to the EU, though with the recent request it seems to undermine his authority, making the issue a big deal for him in the eyes of his voters. Tim Worstall, writer of Forbes, stated in his article that it seems like sending out this message before the election is “almost as if [that is] what the EU desired to happen.” Now, Cameron has also promised his people that he will work to renegotiate the terms, meaning that he will probably work to change the amount of money owed, as well as the date that it is owed to the European Union.

Currently terms state that the money, that the EU feels is owed, should be paid by Dec. 1, but Cameron’s initial reaction is that having the money in before Dec. 1, is “not happening.” Though, the EU re-did the budget for all of the countries who pay, due to their membership in the EU, Britain is the country that owes the most in back-dated contributions. During a meeting government officials said that it simply was not fair for them to demand such a high amount with such short notice. The Netherlands and Italy also both have high amounts of back-dated contributions that they will have to pay, and even Greece will have to pay a little bit more. According to sources Britain is working to invite these countries to fight with them against the “injustices” of such demands by the European Union. Germany and France have no problem with the recalculation as they will actually both be receiving a refund.

The review that the European Union did over the success of the economies, of their membership countries, goes back to 1995. Currently the EU still plans to get $2.7 billion dollars from Britain and are, so far, not planning to be lenient at all. As Britain residents are growing even more impatient with the country being part of the EU, Cameron is focusing more on the upcoming ballots and hoping that agreeable terms can be sought in the future.

By Crystal Boulware


NY Times

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