The UK's net contribution to the European Union soared to £11.3 billion in 2013, an increase of £2.7 billion from the previous year, according to official statistics.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures emerged as British prime minister David Cameron is locked in battle with Brussels over a demand for a further £1.7 billion to be paid by December 1st.
The increase in the contribution is mainly due to a £3 billion increase in the UK’s total gross national income (GNI) contribution, which is based on the country’s estimate of economic activity within a budget year relative to other EU member states. The UK’s rebate increased from £3.1 billion in 2012 to £3.7 billion in 2013, the ONS said. The UK’s net contribution to EU institutions has more than quadrupled since 2008, according to the ONS figures.
The figures do not include the extra £1.7 billion demanded by the EU, which followed a reassessment of national incomes carried out by statistics authorities in each of the 28 member states, and led to large demands for extra money from Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece, while countries including France and Germany stand to gain to the tune of hundreds of millions of euros.
Mr Cameron has insisted he will not hand over "anything like" the £1.7 billion demanded by the European Commission, and Nick Clegg said the UK "can't and won't pay" by the deadline.