Brexit: Downing Street rejects EU's estimate of divorce bill

2 months ago 17

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Downing St has rejected the EU's estimation of the UK's post-Brexit divorcement measure aft caller figures enactment the full indebtedness astatine £40.8bn.

The sum was published successful the EU's accounts for 2020, which besides authorities that the UK should wage the EU £5.8bn this year.

No 10 insisted the measure - which covers spending commitments made earlier the UK near the EU - stands betwixt £35-39bn.

It said the EU estimation did not bespeak "all the wealth owed backmost to the UK".

A European Commission spokesperson insisted the caller fig is "correct" adding: "We person already informed the UK authorities astir the payments that they person to bash with respect to the archetypal portion of this twelvemonth and they've already successful information paid portion of the magnitude concerned.

"Therefore, we person perfectly nary indications astatine this constituent successful clip that the bill, oregon the magnitude that we've calculated volition beryllium contested."

However, responding to the higher estimation a Downing Street spokesperson said: "We don't recognise that figure, it's an estimation produced by the EU for its ain interior accounting purposes.

"For illustration it doesn't bespeak each the wealth owed backmost to the UK which reduces the magnitude we pay.

"Our estimation remains successful the cardinal scope of betwixt £35-39bn and we volition people afloat details successful Parliament shortly."

During Brexit negotiations, the UK agreed to wage the EU a sum of wealth which covered pension contributions for EU unit arsenic good arsenic backing for 3 EU probe programmes from 2021-27.

However, arsenic portion of the settlement, the EU volition besides wage backmost wealth the UK enactment into the European Investment Bank (just implicit £3bn) and the European Central Bank (about £50m).

The UK volition besides person a stock of immoderate wealth paid to the EU successful fines that were imposed earlier the extremity of 2020, which is estimated to beryllium worthy astir £1.2bn.

Cast your caput backmost a mates of years and it wasn't Covid dominating the headlines, but wrangling implicit Brexit.

Early connected successful the negotiations, erstwhile the UK was trying to hold the presumption of its departure with the EU, determination were sticking points - and the alleged divorcement measure was 1 of them.

Reports emerged of assorted sums the UK mightiness person to pay, with higher estimates prompting the past Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to famously accidental the EU could "go whistle".

Needless to accidental the fiscal colony remained a constituent of hostility for immoderate time, earlier some sides agreed a mode to enactment retired however overmuch would beryllium paid.

Now though, disagreement is bubbling again implicit the last figure, with the EU and UK suggesting antithetic amounts.

It seems determination could beryllium different Brexit-related enactment brewing.

The outgo of the divorcement measure caused important hostility during Brexit talks, with suggestions the last fig could scope arsenic precocious arsenic £100bn.

The fiscal woody - which included a method for calculating the payments alternatively than an existent fig - was agreed successful November 2018 by past Prime Minister Theresa May arsenic portion of the withdrawal agreement.

Her successor Boris Johnson sought to renegotiate parts of the statement but did not alteration the fiscal aspect, though astatine 1 constituent helium did suggest withholding the wealth and utilizing it arsenic a bargaining spot successful aboriginal negotiations with the EU.

The withdrawal statement - on with the fiscal colony - became instrumentality successful January 2020.

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