World

In battle over $2.7 billion budget payment, question is whether Britain or EU blinks first

  • British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, left, talks with European Commissioner for Financial Stability and Financial Services Jonathan Hill, during the EU Finance Ministers meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. EU finance ministers were preparing Friday to hunt for a compromise in a row between Britain and Brussels over budget contributions, with billions of euros at stake. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

    British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, left, talks with European Commissioner for Financial Stability and Financial Services Jonathan Hill, during the EU Finance Ministers meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. EU finance ministers were preparing Friday to hunt for a compromise in a row between Britain and Brussels over budget contributions, with billions of euros at stake. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)  (The Associated Press)

  • Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, left, talks with Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, center, and Greek Finance Minister Gikas Chardouvelis, during the EU Finance Ministers meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. EU finance ministers were preparing Friday to hunt for a compromise in a row between Britain and Brussels over budget contributions, with billions of euros at stake. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

    Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, left, talks with Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, center, and Greek Finance Minister Gikas Chardouvelis, during the EU Finance Ministers meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. EU finance ministers were preparing Friday to hunt for a compromise in a row between Britain and Brussels over budget contributions, with billions of euros at stake. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, left, talks with Finnish Finance Minister Antti Rinne, during the EU Finance Ministers meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. EU finance ministers were preparing Friday to hunt for a compromise in a row between Britain and Brussels over budget contributions, with billions of euros at stake. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, left, talks with Finnish Finance Minister Antti Rinne, during the EU Finance Ministers meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. EU finance ministers were preparing Friday to hunt for a compromise in a row between Britain and Brussels over budget contributions, with billions of euros at stake. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)  (The Associated Press)

Britain is steadfast in its refusal to pay an extra 2.1 billion euros ($2.7 billion) to the European Union budget by next month, setting up a clash with EU officials at a meeting Friday.

British Treasury chief George Osborne said before the gathering of EU finance ministers that the demand remained "unacceptable."

A recalculation of EU budget contributions has seen Britain's share grow this year. But the scale of the increase was a surprise.

The standoff comes at a time of growing political pressure in Britain for the country to leave the EU.

EU presidency officials said they were looking for a creative past the impasse. They spoke on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing.