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EU finally devises ‘formula’ for Brexit bill – and it could hit 12 FIGURES

THE European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has devised a formula for working out just how much Britain will be billed for leaving the bloc.

While the final figure still remains shrouded in mystery it is said to run into 11 figures, possibly 12, which will inevitably infuriate Brexiteers.Although neither side in the ongoing Brexit discussions, which resume today, are prepared to discuss a figure, rumours in the corridors of power have been circulating for months.

At one end of the scale a figure of around £56.8 billion (€65bn) has been banded about, which is largely based on the UK’s current share of the EU’s budget – 12.5 per cent – through to 2020, which is the final year of the bloc’s current long-term budget plan, which was approved by the UK.

Brexit Secretary David Davis and Michel Barnier in BrusselsSky News              Brexit Secretary David Davis is meeting Michel Barnier in Brussels today


However, some have said the bill could be as much as £87.5bn (€100bn) or even more.That figure takes into account a wide range of liabilities such as Britain’s supposed involvement with various institutions such as the European Investment Bank.

The reality appears the bill will invariably fall between those two extremes.

One senior official said Brussels, just before the British snap election on June 8, shared a document with the 27 capitals that suggested £69.9 bn (€80bn) would be a realistic figure.
The European Union appears to be particularly keen not to discuss an exact figure.Margaritis Schinas, the chief spokesman for the European Commission, said on Friday: “We shall not start the negotiations by discussing numbers.

The UK has indicated that it is willing to make some payment to the EU.Brexit minister Baroness Anelay issued a statement recently that said: “On the financial settlement, as set out in the prime minister’s [Article 50 letter] the Government has been clear that we will work with the EU to determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing member state, in accordance with the law and in the spirit of our continuing partnership.

“The Government recognises that the UK has obligations to the EU, and the EU obligations to the UK, that will survive the UK’s withdrawal — and that these need to be resolved.”

David Davis (L) with Michel BarnierGetty                    David Davis (L) and Michel Barnier last month at the start of the Brexit talks


The statement represents an effort on the UK’s behalf to agree on a subject that both sides feared would lead to a protracted stand–off wasting valuable time.An EU diplomat involved in the Brexit process told the Financial Times: “This [UK] statement goes further than before.

“That stops an electric shock next week.

“It would have been a real problem if we had made zero progress on the financial settlement.”

However there remains strong opposition to Britain paying any sort of Brexit bill, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson saying last week: “I think the the sums that I have seen seem to me to be extortionate and I think go whistle is an entirely appropriate expression.”

David Davis walking with Michel Barnier Getty              David Davis (L) with Michel Barnier kicked off Brexit talks last month


There are numerous stumbling blocks over any such payment to the EU.One key area is the question of pensions obligations which, estimates suggest, could total as much as £6.1bn (€7bn).

Another controversial area is the European Investment Bank (EIB) and whether the UK should be forced to contribute to the pooling of its assets and liabilities.

Although it has been noted by analysts that the UK’s share in the EIB is valued at around £8.7bn (€10bn).

Exprss.co.uk has contacted the Government’s Brexit department for response.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/829495/Brexit-bill-demand-EU-Michel-Barnier-David-Davis-pensions-European-Investment-Bank

2 Comments

  • Jane Davies
    20th July 2017 - 12:19 am | Permalink

    They can pluck whatever figure they like from the air I just hope the government has the backbone to tell them to go swivel.

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