The U.K. could be handed a £42 million ($67 million) fine next month if it does not pay a £1.7 billion bill demanded by the European Union.
The EU said on Monday it will fine Britain if it refuses to pay a £1.7 billion bill demanded by Brussels by December 1. On Monday, a spokesman for the European Commission insisted the U.K. had to follow legal procedures and said the December 1 deadline was binding.
"Everybody has to pay what is due," Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for the new commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Monday. "If fines are not paid by 1 December there is a process of interest being accumulated,"Schinas added, according to various media reports
The EU's new budget spokesman, Jakub Adamowicz, is also reported to have warned that the U.K. would have to pay 2.5 percent interest on the debt if it is not paid in time, with the rate going up by 0.25 percent each month the debt remains. For the U.K., that would mean a £42.5 million fine if it does not pay in December and just over £90 million by the end of 2015.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, made its initial demand in October after reviewing the economic performance of each of the EU's 28 member states since 1995.