After the recent pressure on Theresa May to finalise the UK’s Brexit offer, it’s been reported that a divorce bill of £50 billion could be paid. Officials say that a broad agreement on a framework for the UK to settle its liabilities is expected to come to a total of approximately €45-55 billion. The divorce bill has caused major problems during the negotiation progress, and with the EU refusing to progress onto discussions over other issues like trade, it’s important that a deal can be reached as quickly as possible for the UK government.
Theresa May had previously offered a sum of €20 billion; however the EU suggested that the figure should be closer to €60 billion. Later reports had also suggested that Theresa May would be willing to increase her original offer to €40 billion. Another report from the Financial Times had estimated the figure to be up to €100bn.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Exiting the European Union said: “Intensive talks between the UK and the European Commission continue to take place in Brussels this week as we seek to reach an agreement. We are exploring how we can continue to build on recent momentum in the talks so that together we can move the negotiations on to the next phase and discuss our future partnership.”
A recent poll has shown that only 11% of UK voters think a bill over £30 billion is satisfactory. Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats said that “If these numbers are correct, it means we’re paying a heavy price to leave an institution that has benefited the country for decades.”
Remain campaigner Anna Soubry commented on the news, saying that “a whopping bill we must pay, price of a monumental con trick played by Leave on decent people” and Labour MP Chuka Umunna added that “Boris, Gove and other Leave campaigners never said there would be a big divorce bill to pay – quite the opposite.”
Transport Secretary and leave campaigner Chris Grayling claims that these figures are only “speculation”, saying in an interview that “We’ve said that we’ll meet our obligations, we’ve said that that needs to be part of a broader agreement. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. But we’ve made good progress in the negotiations on this and other aspects of the package that we’re discussing and we hope that we can move on to trade talks at the European Council.”
EU officials have warned that an agreement must be finalised before negotiations can move onto the next phase, including talks about trade, the rights of EU nationals in the UK as well as the Irish border. It’s hoped that these talks can begin at the summit on 14th December.
A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the EU said: “Intensive talks between the UK and the European Commission continue to take place in Brussels this week as we seek to reach an agreement. We are exploring how we can continue to build on recent momentum in the talks so that together we can move the negotiations on to the next phase and discuss our future partnership.”
Please follow and like us: