The European Commission today has demanded that the U.K. pay €2.7 billion into the EU budget after investigators found that British authorities allowed a massive Chinese fraud network to evade paying the appropriate level of customs duties. Any recovery of the funds will depend on negotiations between the U.K. and the Commission. The Government has already been in contact with Brussels to complain about the almost €3 billion bill that the government is facing for "breaking" EU law.
HMRC responded in a statement:“We do not recognise the European Commission’s estimate of alleged duty loss. We take customs fraud very seriously and we continue to evolve our response as new threats emerge and we will carefully examine the formal notice from the Commission and respond in due course.”
Brussels went public saying: “Despite having been informed of the risks of fraud relating to the importation of textiles and footwear originating in the People’s Republic of China since 2007, and despite having been asked to take appropriate risk control measures, the United Kingdom failed to take action to prevent the fraud. The United Kingdom is liable for the financial consequences of its infringements of EU legislation.”