Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

Osborne attempts to mislead over EU sum

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Anneliese has attacked the Conservative-led coalition for attempting to mislead the British public over the £1.7bn bill from the European Commission.

He claimed that he had halved the £1.7bn bill when in fact he had brought forward the UK's rebate to pay off half of the required sum. The UK would have received an automatic rebate of £850m in 2016, but now this money will be used to pay off half of the £1.7bn in 2015, with the other £850m coming directly from the UK Treasury.

Anneliese welcomed the Commission's decision to allow the UK to pay the £1.7bn in instalments until September 2015, as it showed a recognition that demanding £1.7bn from the UK by December 1st was unreasonable. However, she condemned the mishandling of the entire episode by Cameron and Osborne -- not only did they not notice that this bill would be presented, despite the Treasury having been informed about it some time ago, they have stoked up anti-European sentiment and damaged the UK's relationships with its European allies.

Anneliese said: "Cameron and Osborne's attempt to mislead the British public on this £1.7bn is appalling. Not only have they failed to save the public money, they have tried to hide their failure by claiming that the sum of £1.7bn had been halved. Nothing of the sort has occurred.

"Whilst the way the Commission has presented this £1.7bn bill to the UK was clearly unacceptable, it is important to put this money in context -- a report this week has shown that the UK has gained £20bn just from the contributions of EU migrants in recent years. It is incredibly disappointing to see David Cameron ignore these benefits and once again put his party's interests before that of the UK."

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