MP and Treasury minister says he did not know about EU’s £1.7bn demand long in advance
David Gauke says the Treasury did not hear about the EU’s demand for an extra £1.7bn from the UK until a week before it was publicly announced.
Mr Gauke says the EU’s demand for more cash only came up at a meeting of junior Treasury officials on Friday, October 17.
He said: “It was then raised with ministers, including myself, during the following week.”
Mr Anderson – who will stand against Mr Gauke for UKIP in the next election – demanded he explain to his constituents what and when he knew about the £1.7bn.
Mr Gauke said: “There have been reports that this matter was raised at a meeting of European Finance Ministers on 14 October, which I attended. This is not correct.
“The European Commission did not raise the issue of increased contributions for the UK or other countries with me or my officials at this meeting.
“Both the Dutch and Italian governments have confirmed this to be the case.
“It is clearly not acceptable to level a bill of this sort and expect it to be paid in full six weeks later.
“As the Prime Minister has made clear, we will not be paying £1.7b on 1st December.”