Britain failed to win a cut in an extra budget payment demanded by
the European Union, complicating Prime Minister David Cameron’s efforts
to fend off an anti-EU movement at home.
EU finance ministers
agreed in principle today to stretch out Britain’s payment of a 2.1
billion-euro ($2.6 billion) bill until September 2015. While the
accounting arrangement includes an accelerated refund, it would leave
the U.K.’s overall contributions to the EU untouched.
part of an EU funding reallocation that forced Britain and eight other
countries to pay more, has lengthened the list of grievances that
prompted Cameron to propose a referendum in 2017 that could take Britain
out of the bloc.
“The U.K. will pay the whole amount without
any penalties attached or interest rates,” Irish Finance Minister
Michael Noonan told reporters after the Brussels meeting. “The
installments will be paid over a period of time.”