Cameron insists there will be never be a £1.7bn EU cash handover

THE UK will never pay the £1.7bn EU cash demand even if an “exhaustive” attempt to challenge the sum is unsuccessful, David Cameron has revealed.

Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement on the EU Summit, in the House of Commons

The Prime Minister has said the £1.7bn requested by the European Union is too high an amount, telling MPs yesterday that no matter what the Government would not be paying that amount.

He said the Government would instead go over every aspect of the spending formula used to put together the figure by officials at the European Commission.

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But senior Brussels finance commissioner Jacek Dominik has now said the EU rebate won by Margaret Thatcher could be put at risk if the UK insists on challenging the rules behind the surcharge.

Mr Dominik has said the prime minister risks opening up a “Pandora’s box” in his bid to unravel the formula behind a last minute EU bid for extra cash.

He added that it would be “extremely difficult” for the UK to challenge the demand, despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s angry insistence that he will not pay it by the due date of December 1. Any change would require amendments to EU law supported by a qualified majority of states.”

Asked what prospect there was for a renegotiation of the cash demand, Mr Dominik told a Brussels press conference: “Never in the past was there a situation where such a decision was changed and the implementation regulations changed because one of the member states have contested it.

“I am afraid that it will be extremely difficult to do it, especially because the own resources decision and implementation regulations concern as well the UK’s rebate, so if you open this for future negotiations, you open a Pandora’s box.”

In the Commons yesterday Mr Cameron made clear he had no intention of paying the EU Bill.

“Britain will not be paying two billion euros to anyone on December 1 and we reject this scale of payment,” he said. “We will be challenging this in every way possible. We want to check on the way the statistics were arrived at, the methodology that was used. We will crawl through this in exhaustive detail.”

And he told MPs: “We are not paying two billion on December 1 and we are not paying a sum anything like that. That is very clear.

“When your economy grows, you pay a bit more. When your economy shrinks, you pay a bit less. But what is not acceptable is a two billion euro bill and we won’t be paying it.”

The Prime Minister was accused of being “asleep at the wheel” by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who said Mr Cameron should have been aware for at least two years that changes to Britain’s contribution to the EU budget were in the offing.

It comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warns of concerns that the anti-immigrant rhetoric taking hold in the UK was a “deep menace” to society.

The Most Rev Justin Welby spoke after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said communities felt swamped by EU immigration.

The Archbishop - who said he was not criticising any individual - appealed for moderation.

“Do I worry about the language? Yes I do, I really do,” he told journalists at a Westminster lunch.

“We can’t overburden communities, we have to be realistic about that.

“But at the heart of Christian teaching about the human being is that all human beings are of absolutely equal and infinite value and the language we use must reflect the value of the human being and not treat immigration as a deep menace that is somehow going to overwhelm a country that has coped with many waves of immigration.”