UK braces for 40 billion euros Brexit bill

UK braces for 40 billion euros Brexit bill

London - The EU has floated a figure of ?60 billion and wants significant progress on settling Britain's liabilities.

By Reuters

Published: Sun 6 Aug 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Aug 2017, 1:20 AM

Britain is prepared to pay up to 40 billion euros as part of a deal to leave the European Union, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported, citing three unnamed sources familiar with Britain's negotiating strategy.
The EU has floated a figure of 60 billion euros and wants significant progress on settling Britain's liabilities before talks start on issues such as future trading arrangements. The government department responsible for Brexit talks declined to comment on the article. So far, Britain has given no official indication of how much it would be willing to pay.
The newspaper said British officials were likely to offer to pay 10 billion euros a year for three years after leaving the EU in March 2019, then finalise the total alongside detailed trade talks. Payments would only be made as part of a deal that included a trade agreement, the newspaper added.
"We know (the EU's) position is 60 billion euros, but the actual bottom line is ?50 billion. Ours is closer to 30 billion euros but the actual landing zone is 40 billion euros, even if the public and politicians are not all there yet," the newspaper quoted one senior Whitehall source as saying. Whitehall is the London district where most British government departments and ministers are based. A second Whitehall source said Britain's bottom line was "30 billion euros to 40 billion euros" and a third source said Prime Minister Theresa May was willing to pay "north of 30 billion euros", the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said on July 20 that Britain would honour its obligations to the EU but declined to confirm that Brexit would require net payments.
British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit advocate, said last month the EU could "go whistle" if it made "extortionate" demands for payment.
Pro-Brexit campaign group Leave Means Leave said speculation about a divorce bill was "unhelpful". "With the EU Brexit negotiations, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," said the groups' co-chair Richard Tice.

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