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Hi I am one of the experts. Yes they are right because they need to charge VAt to non-VAT registered customers in UK. So you were required to tell them about de-registration.
Hope I have answered your question?
They need to charge you VAT and they have to pay this to their authority. This payment should be made asap.
If your supplier asks you to give this info in writing then send it him. I think if you make the payments then it should fix the issue.
Please do accept answer if you have no other questions?
Once you are VAT registered then there was no need to pay your supplier for info. So if you now need to pay your supplier then unfortunately you need to do that. You should get in touch with the supplier and try to find an agreeable arrangement with them.
Legally you have to pay unfortunately.
But since you have not informed them earlier so it is also your responsibility to that extend to get it all fixed legally.
Hope it is clear now.
Welcome and thank you for accepting the answer. Good luck.