EU Budget Commissioner Jacek Dominik warned on Monday that British Prime Minister David Cameron will “open Pandora’s box” if he doesn’t make an extra payment to the EU budget by 1 December.
Dominik expressed his “surprise” at Cameron’s angry reaction last week, and hinted at possible fines if the premier leaves the bill unpaid.
“Yes, I was surprised by the reaction because, as I said, up to this moment there was no single signal from the UK administration that they have problems with this figure,” the EU Budget Commissioner told reporters in Brussels. “(…) “I understand, as it was already explained in the technical meeting that has just ended before that by law, member states are obliged to pay their contribution,” the Commissioner added.
Current EU rules can’t give Britain more time to pay the bill. Changing the law would require a qualified majority from EU member states and, according to the Commission, this would be “extremely difficult”.
“Never in the past was there a situation that such (a) decision was changed, and the implementation regulations have been changed because one of the member states have contested. So, if you open this act for future negotiations, you open a Pandora box,” Dominik said.
Last Friday, Cameron bared his teeth after the EU executive presented him with a bill for over 2 billion euros, calling it “unacceptable.”
“It has never been the case that a 2 billion euro bill has suddenly been presented. It is not acceptable, it is an appalling way to behave and I am not paying the bill.” Cameron said.
According to the Commission, the different types of own-EU budget resources and the system for calculating them are agreed on by all member states.