Brexit_post_14€60 billion is a pretty hefty bill. That’s the amount Britain will owe the EU after Brexit, according to unnamed sources within the European Commission. Considering that so much fuss was made over the figure of £350 million a week (roughly €20 billion a year) during the referendum campaign, the British public presumably aren’t going to want to cough up over three times that amount as part of the divorce bill.

Some caveats do apply. This would be a one-time payment, though it does not include any ongoing contribution that the UK might pay in order to have access to various EU programmes after Brexit. Crucially, it could also be seen as an “opening bid” during the negotiations. The actual number is likely to be lower.

Nevertheless, somebody has to pay the bill. If the British refuse, then the remaining 27 will have to go to their citizens and explain that their obligations to the EU budget are due to go up instead. That means less money for domestic spending, which may prove to be a politically impossible task.

So, where does the figure of €60 billion come from? To get an idea, we spoke to Professor Iain Begg, Professorial Research Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science:

iain-beggIt’s possible to reach the 60 billion euro figure that has come out from various sources inside the Commission – mainly unattributed – by reference principally to the EU budget for the period 2014-2020. There’s an expectation that Britain would fulfil it’s obligations for the entire 7-year framework, and not just for the years during which it remains a member of the European Union.

In particular, that means that from the second quarter of 2019 onward, by when we’re expecting Britain to be out of the EU, there will be seven quarters left of that budgetary framework. Within that, there could be commitments by Britain that will have to honoured in 2019 and 2020.

In addition, there’s also something called in French ‘reste à liquider’ (meaning ‘remaining to be liquidated’) which is the bills for EU spending that is committed prior to Britain leaving the European Union, but is only presented afterwards. That can happen particularly because of what is called ‘cohesion policy’; economic spending in Central and Eastern Europe which is likely to continue up to 2023, even with commitments being made today. The last element in the story is obligations towards the pensions of EU staff, which could go as high as 9 or 10 billion.

We had a comment sent in from Roy, who thinks the idea of any sort of ‘divorce bill’ for Brexit is nonsense. He argues the UK should “NOT have to pay ANY money to the EU after exit.”

To get a response, we took Roy’s comment to Roger Helmer, MEP for the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party (UKIP). What would he say?

To get another perspective, we also put Roy’s comment to Robert Ackrill, Professor of European Economics and Policy, Nottingham Trent University. What would he say to Roy?

ackrillWell, the great unknown here is the legal standing of the financial commitments we have already entered into. And, unfortunately, whilst the 7-year budgetary plan has clauses around new countries joining and around the reunification of Cyprus, there’s no clause in there as to what happens when a country leaves.

Now, on the one hand you could say that Article 50 contains no legal commitment to spending obligations already entered into… but then Article 50 contains very little indeed anyway. Then there’s the legal standing of those policy-areas where we have already committed ourselves.

So, one can argue – as Roy and others have done – that the UK should not pay anything. However, I think this is where the lawyers would have to get stuck into the legal basis of that argument. Also, any meaningful negotiation can’t be one party just standing there and saying: “Right, we’re going to do this, this, and this, and we’re going to walk away without any kind of consequences.”

Let’s face it: the 27 remaining countries of the EU will hold a lot of cards in the negotiations. A failure to engage constructively with those talks would have potentially serious consequences that would, in the long-term, cost a whole lot more than a few billion euros here and there.

Should the UK pay its Brexit ‘divorce bill’? Is the mooted figure of ’60 billion’ fair? Or is it grossly inflated? Should Britain refuse to stump up the cash? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Bankenverband – Bundesverband deutscher Banken


128 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Joao Antonio Camoes

    Common people does not have data and knowledge to analyze, comment and have opinion. If the penalty is a political decision only, the answer should be NO. EU is common project and alliance; you stay if you want; otherwise it will be a prison, a directory and sometime, somehow it wil crash fiercely.

    • Pedro Castro

      On the other side of the coin, i doubt that anyone can argue that it should be the EU paying farage’s retirement! And that’s just one of the many things this divorce bill covers…

    • Sharon

      It is a dictatorship. When the Nazis were coming the people didn’t have data either but If the people had opened their eyes a lot of blood would not have been spilt. A trade agreement that has grown into a ponzi scheme which has only benefitted Germany. It is unsustainable, It is a prison as they dictate on everything regarding our lives and it is crashing. Look at France, Catalonia want Independence, Germany can’t form a government, Greece ruined, no jobs in Italy, Portugal. And do you think the ex communist countries that have been through hell will give up their rights to be undermined by Germany. Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece were not ready to join the EU, as well they knew so the EU already started it’s life weakened. And what the hell do they want an EU army for. We fought for freedom and some are just prepared to give up on it. We are not.

  2. Ivan Burrows

    .

    An ‘unnamed source’ down the local chip shop swears he’s Elvis, doesn’t mean he’s right.

  3. Blaz Bostjancic

    No. But they should not expect to have any banefita after the leave. Now they are negotiating with the block of 27 and they have to realice leave means leave.

  4. Paul X

    You have to laugh at the analogy given by Margaritis Schinas that is routinely quoted “It is like going to the pub with 27 friends: You order a round of beer, but then you cannot leave while the party continues; you still need to pay for the round you ordered,”

    How about “It’s like going to the pub with 27 friends but only 11 have brought their wallets and despite being one of the top three in going to the bar the most often, you are told if you want to leave you have to put more money behind the bar”

    • Tracy King x

      Well said mate

    • Sharon

      Yep that’s about it. They’ve sucked off us for long enough.

    • Joel Dominic Rodrigues

      No one has “milked” the UK. The UK has been part of all decision making. The structure of the EU is arguably more democratic than the UK. So much arrogance and still months later, no Article 50!?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Joel Dominic Rodrigues
      Alternative facts alert!
      Alternative facts alert!
      Alternative facts alert!

    • Sharon

      All these people commenting from countries who I doubt pay anything. Pretty much like Germany not even paying its 2% of NATO, expecting other people to pay. Goodness, as much as I love Europe, two world wars later and still that continent hasn’t learnt a damn thing.

  5. Marian Nicuriuc

    I think they have signed a contract, and likewise are bound of it, well kind of were! When you breach the agreement for whatever reasons normally you pay, one way or the other! UK should be held accountable for the breach and therefore sanctioned as legit!

    • jer lon

      only no one signed for the EU to overspend…

    • Kate

      Show us the contract and then there’s no argument. As the EU has never had its budget accounted ever then I doubt anyone knows the figures.

  6. jer lon

    That the EU is overspending has nothing to do with the nations. Half of what they spend money on is either wasted or justified to derail more democratic process. The EU should be made MORE responsible. And the pensions of EU staffers should be normalised to the already exuberant level of national pensions.
    Finally the EU does not hold that many cards, because a sharp slowdown there would smash the euro anyway.

    • Kirstie Mamoyo Rogers

      It’s coming, if you bothered to research the issue correctly you’d know that.

    • Kirstie Mamoyo Rogers

      And no other countries don’t pay nearly the amount we have. There are many eu countries propping up those that were not ready to join

  7. Julia Hadjikyriacou

    So the EU created bank bail-ins so the tax payer doesnt foot the bills (even though depositor money is stolen and given to mega-rich private shareholders). Yet the EU is ok with off-loading UK’s bills onto EU tax payers. Sounds like EU double standards. Whatever the EU decides there should be one rule for all. If the UK doesn’t pay, other countries leaving the EU mustn’t pay either. But one thing is definate, EU tax payers should not be paying UK’s bills. The UK elite are rolling in billions and trillions stashed away in UK overseas tax havens. Bu the UK will offload this bill onto the vulnerable and honest low-income tax payers so the mega-rich can keep their legally tax avoided and tax evaded immense wealth.

    • Paul X

      It is not a UK “bill”…. the whole issue is down to the EU’s financial incompetence and the fact its spending plans always exceed its income. It runs a continual debt the liability for which is spread throughout the EU countries so while Brussels loves to claim the credit for all its”worthy” projects it carries none of the risks

  8. Alex Sekkpfb

    Of course they should pay their bill, we, the Europeans had no say in their leaving – why should you support their decisions with our money?

  9. catherine benning

    What divorce bill would that be? When was the last time EU/GB coitus took place?

    The truth is, the EU had long been adulterous with foreign partners and cleaned out all joint accounts, spending the lot on jewels and furs as it became insatiable for exotic favours.

    The EU owes the UK for all stolen funds.

    • Wouter Russchen

      Ivan Burrows European Development Fund. who wanted that? the UK. Who profited from that? the UK. Who applied twice to join the EU? The UK.
      7,1 billion. alright. that’s 66 billion in trade with the EU. that’s a small price to pay for 66 billion in trade

    • Wouter Russchen

      Ivan Burrows wait. 7,1 billion? jesus, even broke italy pay more than you guys. yeah. i’m sure an economy of over 14 trillion can’t find 7,1 billion somehwere :D

    • Paul X

      Who is “we”, how much did we get, and when did we get it?

      …nothing to specific, just a rough amount and date will suffice

    • Wouter Russchen

      Ivan Burrows unelected? did you miss the parliamentary elections?
      the EU has no politburo
      it also doesn’t waste money. example: the EU countries earn 140 billion dollars every year by trading with Poland. The EU currently earns 4 times as much in trade with Poland every year as it invested in Poland in total.

    • Karolina

      Ivan, who exactly elected Theresa May? Her mates?

    • Paul X

      Karolina, in the UK we vote for a party based on their published manifesto, not the leader of that party so in the general scheme of thing whoever leads that party is immaterial (unless you are a complete liability like Jeremy Corbyn)

      If there was a general election tomorrow neither Theresa May or any other party leader would appear on my ballot paper, the only people who could directly vote for Theresa May are the people of Maidenhead so your comment is irrelavent

      If you are so concerned about democratic deficit (and more relevant to this forum) then maybe you should also ask who exactly elected Jean Claude Juncker? He wasn’t the appointed leader of the EPP until after they won the EU elections (and the UK didn’t even cast a single vote for his party)

    • Karolina

      Sounds like you need to have a lesson on democracy, Paul. It’s the vote of the majority that wins and not of a specific country/individual. I won’t comment on the rest of your comment because it is beyond childish. Anyone can work out the answer to it. But it just proves how people make excuses when they want to and how they keep finding something wrong when they want. Like I’ve said before your comments mostly consist of spinning and misrepresenting things. Not really worthy of a debate…

    • Paul X

      Karolina

      you asked the question…”who exactly elected Theresa May?”

      I gave you the answer… “the people of Maidenhead”….it really is impossible to spin or misrepresent a simple fact (if you wanted a lesson on the full UK general election process you should have asked)

      I answered your question, so how about mine? “who elected Jean Claude Juncker”…maybe you consider it “childish” because you cannot answer it without highlighting the exact same democratic deficit in the EU you were trying to infer the UK has

    • James McManama

      @Paul – Juncker was elected by the European Parliament, after campaigning as the candidate of the European People’s Party (which won the most seats in the 2014 European Parliament elections). His main opponent was Martin Schulz, who would have been elected had the socialists won the most seats.

      The British Prime Minister is also elected by Parliament (i.e. not directly). However, the issue with Theresa May is that she did not campaign as her party’s candidate during the 2015 general elections. Even more problematically, her policy platform is different from her predecessor’s. So, voters chose a Prime Minister and a manifesto during the GE 2015 that are no longer reflected in the current government.

    • Paul X

      James, I believe there were other contenders apart from Juncker and Schulz but I agree they were the favourites. My point was of a more fundamental nature in pointing out the similarities that in both the EU and UK cases the leaders were not in place when the elections took place.

      A more significent lack of democracy was that no one in the UK even voted for the EPP, but that is another issue

    • Karolina

      James McNamara, your next job should be as a Kindergarten teacher.

      Paul, I note you have been unable to contradict James. Your childish arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny and you know it. That’s why you need to spin to debate to be seen to be coming back with an answer. A hollow one.

    • Paul X

      Karolina, I answered your simple question with a straightforward answer, what more do you want?… (I note you haven’t answered my equally simple question “who elected Jean Claude Juncker”)

      And why would I contradict James, he is correct in what he says ..but what he says does not contradict my point… that both Theresa May and Juncker were appointed by their parties after elections took place and were therefore not directly elected by the people…now try and find some proper debating skills and give a reason why you think one is any less democratic than the other…( instead of resorting to your usual childish belittling comments)

    • Karolina

      I don’d debate with children, Paul. Nothing to gain. You need to debate with people that know more than you so that you learn something out of it. Otherwise it’s a waste of time. Have you not heard the saying, don’t argue with people that believe their own lies? I intend to take its wisdom.

    • Karolina

      Just to confirm that that’s another lost debate for Paul, but he didn’t even get how he lost. He still thinks he made some kind of point…

    • Paul X

      Karolina, you asked a question, I gave you an answer, there was no debate, certainly not from you anyway
      You are incapable of debating, all you do is make disparaging comments mostly aimed at the UK and about Brexit.
      I challenge you to look back through all your own posts and try to find one with any meaningful, factual contribution to any debate anywhere on this forum….take as long as you want…. I think you’ll be some time….

    • Cliff Wilson

      I have only just joined this debate. I assume Wouter that you are a comedian?
      I think we all know that the northern EU Countries benefited considerably by the EU and in particular the Euro. Much of that benefit was derived ‘from Britains over valued currency and the Euro working very well for the likes of The Netherlands and Germany to name a couple.
      Britains net contributions were very high. They will expect a return on their investments! They will not expect to be paying without a return!

    • Kenneth

      Quite. UK law doesn’t allow for a payment to the eu

  10. Simon William Richards

    As the UK is also likely to make a claim for its share of EU assets and any outstanding EU spending in the UK and the issue of free trade between UK-EU I think the final settlement after a lot of horsetrading will be Zero.

  11. stuart

    Why should it pay when its owed money, aircraft, buildings, money in bank, etc etc etc… we are owed billions and the EU will not persue this as when we itemise all the freebies the EU MEPS enjoy the whole of the EU will erupt

  12. Miguel Bruni

    Forget about that. The most important thing EU politics say is the UK to sign a clause not to come back. Knowing the history…

  13. Karolina

    Whatever financial commitments the UK has made it should honour. If it doesn’t, then it will show itself to be an unreliable partner, which is some of the worst base to start trade negotiations on. Esp, if it intends, as it says, to have a relationship with Europe. Although, this is of course part of a wider issue: what sort of a relationship can you have after a move as hostile as pulling out of a partnership after extensive hostile rhetoric that has been broadcast internationally. I can only question the UK’s ability to have any good relations with any countries. Selfish people simply don’t have many friends.

    • Paul X

      Sometimes people you think are your friends are only after what they can get from you

  14. Evan Fotheringham

    Miguel Bruni,
    Most people in UK would happily sign “clause not to come back”, just as long as you sign “not to ask us come rescue you next time of war”.

    We may consider paying the “divorce bill” when we get back our rebate that Blair gave to you if you reformed the CAP (which the French refused to do, after agreement). That probably means you (eu) owe us several billions.

  15. EU Reform- Proactive

    Grotesque! The UK (in this instance)- being a major net contributor to the EU for all these years- is in the slaughterhouse to be penalized for having contributed the ~3rd largest net share to the EU over all the years? Breathtaking!

    The EU/EC logic must go something like this- as contained in the latest EU treaty “exit regulations”- kept secrete:

    The more a member contributes net into its pool, the heftier the penalty once it leaves= “Loss of x-years in future EU income”- aka a dried up milking cow. Just to tie young & old all bureaucrats over- until death.

    This “unnamed EU source” (“the ghost of JCJ?”) seems to behave like a cheated lover- as revenge- & set’s an example to shock everyone to never ever contemplate such embarrassing political infidelity in future. The carrot is forgotten- the stick comes out!

    Open secrete: Once in the EU- always in it- “until death do you part from the mess you made”? The new Union of the poorest & weirdest is on its way!

    Lesson to learn: It pay’s rather to be poor! No (rich) net contributor should ever join the EU- only economic delinquents. A hefty bio cash bonus awaits them- in “neuros” printed by a newly formed EWeirdB.

    But, be careful- even they- Greece- get auctioned off! Probably all fake news or 1st April- or?

  16. Danny Boy

    And how exactly are the remaining twenty seven members of this circus going to make the UK pay anything?, threaten to kick them out?
    Seriously though it’s a bit rich for a bunch of nations, most of which have never paid anything into the EU coffers themselves and merely taken out, to expect a country that isn’t even a member to pay.

    • Karolina

      They can just refuse to trade with them further.

    • Paul X

      Yet another totally inconsequential response from the mistress of “debate”

      Trade is a two way mutually beneficial exchange, ever heard the expression “cut off your nose to spite your face”?…if not, google it

    • Karolina

      This is exactly what the UK is doing, cutting off its nose…

    • Karolina

      :-) EU trade accounts for double the percentage of GDP for the UK than trade with the UK for the EU :-).

    • Paul X

      That makes absolutely no sense at all. Where is the direct link between Trade and GDP? GDP is based on production and services… ..and anyway, if you are trying to do a comparison then surely you must use per-capita GDP because clearly the EU is considerably larger than the UK?

      Maybe just send me a link to where your “facts” come from and I can work out for myself what is really being said

      … but at the end of the day it is totally irrelevant to the discussion (as usual), I stated that trade between the UK and EU is a two way affair and it would be detrimental to both to “refuse to trade with them further” as you suggest ..the actual amount of trade is immaterial to the point being made

    • Joel Dominic Rodrigues

      Portugal is fine. It’s a very vibrant and active democracy. Like Flávio says, use your vote. Also, we don’t have direct democracies or oligarchies. We live in liberal, representative democracies.

  17. Jazzy J

    Hang on a minute. What’s the UK share of EU assets? Let’s figure out what the EU owes the U.K. before the UK pays them anything

  18. Carmelo A. Costanza

    Should the UK ever want to enjoy the basic benefits of the Common Market, the UK would still have to pay into the EU budget. It’s a never winning battle for the UK. Buyers Remorse will ultimately materialize.

  19. Joseph Bartolo

    How about the EU pay back the UK peoples money that was forced from them all those decades ! Not the People of Europe, but those that held power and those holding power now !

    • Joel Dominic Rodrigues

      Nothing was forced from anyone. It’s sad to see the same lies and ignorance re. the EU still on display.

    • Paul X

      Well it could be described as forced because apart from a referendum back in 1975 the British people have never had the opportunity to voice an opinion on something their taxes were being spent on

      UK politics has been dominated by a cross party political elite who never dared to question the European project and anyone who did was labelled a “rebel” and subject to derision.

      What they should have done was more consultation over the past 40 years, instead they arrogantly carried on agreeing treaty after treaty so when they were eventually forced into asking public opinion there was only ever going to be one answer

  20. Muskaan

    I think that we should pay the brexit “divorce” bill because it was our decision to leave the EU and now everyone who voted shall see the consequences. if you make a decision you have to be ready to face the outcome of your decision.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Muskaan
      I once thought the EU was a great idea, however it has tried to grow too big too fast and is rife, rampant and replete with corruption.

      Britain will pay its bills as it always does – unlike France and Germany BTW.

      But remember this – UK folk that were not just pro-EU but anti-UK will squirm with shame when the EU reveals its true colours over the next decade.

  21. Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    Why is this even a question? Yes. Of course and the UK must face legal and further financial consequences if it doesn’t. Your question would perhaps be better put as, “Should the May regime be a complete asshole?”

    • Cliff Wilson

      Teresa May is not the British People. Your rude question dismisses the fact that this was a Democratic choice made by the British People. If you and the EU think it appropriate to ‘punish’ the British people for making a free and Democratic choice then it seems the Millions of British and Europeans who fought for freedom in past years in Europe wasted their time and lives. The problem with the EU and the governments of many EU Countries is they don’t want the people to decide about membership because they prefer to tell them what is good for them. Maybe the UK is the only Country brave enough and strong enough to face up to this.

  22. Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    Portugal is fine. It’s a very vibrant and active democracy. Like Flávio says, use your vote. Also, we don’t have direct democracies or oligarchies. We live in liberal, representative democracies.

  23. Kenneth

    I’ve never heard of a country paying other countries’ bills when they are not in any kind of arrangement.

    The UK will be outside of the eu and so paying their bills is not possible.

  24. June A. Van Orman

    NO, we should not pay EU the Brexit ‘divorce bill’. The EU should pay us a hefty alimony because we were forced, duped and betrayed into this unholy marriage. That makes this ‘marriage’ null and void.

  25. Andy Alderson

    Yes it should stick to its commitments, however, let’s get this in to perspective, there is talk of 40-50Bn, that’s 2-3 years contributions from the UK, brexit will take a min of 2 years so the EU will receive ££40Bn anyway.
    Also, during this 2 years an audit will be done of the EU’s assets, the UK is entitled to its share of them, which I’m sure will outweigh any imagined further debt.

  26. Andy Alderson

    Yes it should stick to its commitments, however, let’s get this in to perspective, there is talk of 40-50Bn, that’s 2-3 years contributions from the UK, brexit will take a min of 2 years so the EU will receive ££40Bn anyway.
    Also, during this 2 years an audit will be done of the EU’s assets, the UK is entitled to its share of them, which I’m sure will outweigh any imagined further debt.

  27. kevin

    Roger is right ,pay nothing .We are leaving

  28. Chalks Corriette

    The problem with these statements is that they simply cause a problem. (should the UK pay, should France pay, should the EU pay, should Germany pay)… The cost of anything we do within the EU administration, is a cost of running the administration. And as with every other cost there is a process as to how that is funded. I do not see the issue of Brexit as anything more than EU administration. Seems like we should’ve had a provision held somewhere, to deal with such a situation as this. Poor risk management….. Find a solution guys. We know you can do it.

  29. Karolina

    I have an update on this. The remaining EU members have decided to take a hard line on this issue and it will be the first topic on the negotiating table as soon as negotiations start. It is also expected to define the tone of rest of the negotiations, so the picture will be clear very early on. Presumably, the UK’s refusal to meet its financial commitments could be the end of all negotiations…Let’s wait and see.

  30. Karolina

    The demands and self-complacency of the Brits posting on here add a comic element to the situation.

    • Karolina

      It is an update on the debate here which I haven’t seen anyone else mention. Your article refers to specific countries whereas what I have heard refers to the entirety of the EU.

      An adult of average could have worked out the above btw. You intellectual limitations become more and more obvious Paul and somehow the quality of your arguments and debate start to make perfect sense. I am at the point where I think it is not a good use of my time reading them…

    • Karolina

      average intelligence…

    • Paul X

      I would also suggest it’s not a good use of your time repeatedly posting completely pointless and derisive comments about the UK and Brexit….you have only one topic and one opinion which hardly gives you the right to accuse anyone else of having a limited intellect

    • Karolina

      I don’t need to accuse anyone. Their posts are the evidence :-).

    • Karolina

      It is a good use of my time, of course, because it adds to the debate by showing the image of the UK abroad on the back of Brexit. This is what debates are for and this is what freedom of speech is about. If you are not ok with people expressing their opinions on your country, you should not come to this page. :-)

    • Paul X

      Maybe you can explain to me one day how this post adds anything to the debate….. “The demands and self-complacency of the Brits posting on here add a comic element to the situation” ?

      …but anyway, moving on…. I have no problem what so ever people expressing an opinion on my country, but I much prefer it if those opinions were based on fact and not media hype

    • Karolina

      It adds my onion, which is that the British comments here are demanding and self-complacent and this is what they add to the image of the country.

      If you need anyone to explain this to you, perhaps a debate for people with learning difficulties would suit you better.

    • Paul X

      The problem with you Karolina is your have “last word-itus”

      So go on, add one final nonsensical, derogatory (and at times offensive) comment which is totally devoid of any debate stimulating, factual content…. I’m finished on this thread..fill yer boots

    • Karolina

      What facts and substance were there exactly in your comments?

      I know, anger because you lost another debate and someone outshone you! LOL!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karolina
      The EU wants to ‘punish’ the UK for leaving its ‘crooked’ club.

      What kind of club ‘punishes’ members because they want to leave?

  31. Coln

    Reading some of the rubbish posted here by pro-EU lemmings has made rather a dull day amusing.

  32. Coln

    What most of those insisting the UK should pay are missing is there is no legal requirement in any treaty that states that a country upon leaving the EU must pay a “divorce” settlement .. The EU are well withing the rights to request a payment, just as the UK are within their rights to ask for a share of all EU assets, after all we have paid into them for over 40 years, just as the UK can ask for the EU to honor their commitments to the UK that have already been ‘rubber stamped’ … at best this is a very grey, murky legal area, so any declarations here from either side are either wishful thinking or wind-ups.

  33. Christopher Kealy

    The UK has paid those idiots in Brussels enough over the years. What do we pay a day at the moment, just ot be in the EU ? £66 million a day. Divorce bill indeed !!!

  34. Rob mills

    If they want it tell them to come and get it , also what about VAT can our government afford to give us back 20% as it was a EU requirement.

  35. Paul X

    The EU wants a country that has been net contributing for decades to “honor its commitments” and pay a large sum of money for promises which will not be due until the country has left….

    ……If a country that is a net beneficiary from the budget is next to leave, will the EU “honor it’s commitments” and continue to pay for promises pledged to said country even after it has left?

    ……I think we know what the answer would be…

  36. Tony Wheal

    How much were we paid to join the EU and take on our share of the existing members’ liabilities 44 years ago? If the answer, as I suspect, is nothing then the principle is established that you come and go and share in the assets and liabilities for only as long as you are a member.

  37. Chris

    Euro people…. pay your way in NATO!…as the USA, Greece and UK do! …we (UK) owe you nothing, you owe us! Germany by the way are paying half the amount of the minimum they should be as a NATO member and yet they are running (own) Europe. Trump is right, why should the US pay for your security anymore?

  38. Jodocus5

    The UK entered into financial commitments in the course of its EU membership. E.g. it underwrote pension liabilities for civil servants and co-authorised investment programmes (like e.g. the Galileo project).

    Such financial commitments (like pension liabilities) don’t evaporate just because the UK decides it no longer wants to be part of the club that employed those civil servants. And neither does leaving provide a valid reason to renege on ongoing project commitments.

    Of course there may be parts of the ongoing budget that can’t reasonably be expected to carry over post-Brexit. But that is what teh negotiations are for, right?

    What is unhelpful on the UK’s part is that it simply refuses to say which commitments it believes it should honour, or even what criteria it proposes to use to identify those.

    Well, if that is what the UK want’s there is little we can do about it. Except put forward proposals and patiently wait for the UK to make up its mind.

  39. Anthony Blighe

    I did not hear any mention of a ‘divorce bill’ during the referendum. Did anyone else?Surely it would have been in the Remain camp’s interests to warn us.

    This leads me to suspect that it originated from the EU’s ‘department for making things up on the spot’.

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