Top political stories right now
David Cameron has ruled out adhering to a demand for Britain to pay an extra £1.7bn towards the European Union budget by the start of December.
Speaking after a meeting of the European Council this afternoon, he said the charge was “not acceptable”.
“It is an appalling way to behave. I am not paying that bill on 1 December. If people think I am going to, they have got another thing coming. It is not going to happen.”
The Prime Minister said he was prepared to bring legal challenges to the proposal if necessary, describing it as an “unacceptable way to treat one of the biggest contributors to the European Union”.
Mr Cameron also revealed that he had first learned of the bill on Thursday, despite the Chancellor revealing he had been notified earlier this week.
George Osborne, who will attend a meeting of EU finance ministers about the plans, echoed Mr Cameron's comments, also describing the surcharge as “unacceptable”.
"I learned earlier this week and it’s totally unacceptable," he explained. "It’s unacceptable to be presented with a multi-billion pound demand with six weeks to pay."
New calculations of member states’ economic performance since 1995 mean France and Germany will receive rebates while Britain and the Netherlands are among those being asked to pay more.
The analysis, carried out by Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics agency, also takes into account black market activity in the economy.
Reports in May this year suggested that £10bn had been added to the UK's GDP by taking into account black market activity.
In his statement, Mr Cameron stressed that the figures were an “estimate” and said he wanted to look into how they had been compiled.
Nigel Farage predicted that the UK would be forced to pay the charge, describing Mr Cameron as “hopeless”.
The Ukip leader told Sky News: "What is he going to do? These are the rules, the contributions to the European Union was a very complex formula and part of it is a measurement of your GDP against everybody else’s. There’s nothing he can do."
On The Way Up
Today in Local and Regional
Today in Schools, education & training
Today in Party Politics & Reform
Today in Domestic Affairs
News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh
This morning's top ten must-reads
Find out more about the professional political news service
Bits and bobs from the political day
Hand picked politics - Live
Twitter 14:23 | Here is my letter to #Celtic outlining why they should pay the #LivingWage
Twitter 14:05 | I'm angry at the sudden presentation of a €2bn bill to the UK by the EU. It's an appalling way to behave and I won't be paying it on Dec 1st
Blog 14:00 | Farage has chosen to cosy up with the sort of political party thatmakes most of us feel sickLabourList
Opinion 13:33 | I was arrested in Parliament Square – where free speech should prevailThe Guardian
Opinion 13:23 | The cost of a search for what’s not thereThe Financial Times (£)
News 13:17 | Ed Balls photobombed by spider on BBC NewsThe Guardian
Blog 13:14 | What should Scottish Labour do?LabourList
Opinion 12:17 | Manchester land-grab must be resistedThe Financial Times (£)
Opinion 12:15 | Political apathy: who cares?The Financial Times (£)
Opinion 12:04 | A bizarre front for the Tories’ campaign against EuropeThe Independent
Latest opinion research and analysis
Most read around the web
Most read on PoliticsHome
Click to see todays front pages and political bits
The political diary