Helsinki: Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday warned there would be a "major problem" if a row over an EU demand for Britain to pay a 2.1-billion-euro surcharge was not settled.
"I hope they can be resolved... And if they can be then that'll be good, and if they can't -- then obviously we'll have a major problem," he said at a regional meeting in Helsinki.
Cameron was speaking as European Union Finance ministers met in Brussels on the British refusal to pay the bill by the December 1 deadline.
"Let that negotiation continue and we'll see if it reaches a conclusion today or perhaps later. We'll have to wait and see about that," he said.
The controversy over the bill imposed on Britain is threatening to further alienate the increasingly eurosceptic British public from the EU.
The surcharges are based on a recalculation of member states' budgets over several years but first emerged at a summit in October, sparking Cameron's fury at the short deadline.
"Two elements that I've said were absolutely clear. It was that we wouldn't pay two billion euros on the 1st of December, and we didn't believe in anything like paying that amount," Cameron said today.
"I've set out my position very clearly, and I've been utterly consistent from the very first moment."