Britain and Brussels clash over the £40 billion Brexit divorce bill

Brussels and London disputed the size of the Brexit bill on Thursday, after the European Union hinted that the UK would be obliged to pay 47.5 billion euros (40.8 billion pounds) as part of its post-Brexit arrangements.

However, the British Treasury insisted that the divorce agreement for Brexit remained within the previous mid-range of 35 billion to 39 billion pounds. The updated estimates will be released next week.

The higher amount for the first time EU annual accounts The European Commission released its 2020 plan at the end of last month.

These obligations are related to past commitments made when the United Kingdom became a member of the European Union and during the post-Brexit transition period that ended at the end of December.

After the 2016 Brexit referendum, the Brexit agreement is one of the most important parts of the negotiations between London and Brussels, and it is also one of the most difficult issues to resolve.

This approach was agreed by both parties in the withdrawal agreement, but any increase in the bill is expected to anger conservative Euroskeptics.

The amount in the EU account will be paid in a few years, exceeding the UK’s earlier estimate.

A document from the House of Commons on the Brexit divorce bill stated that “the settlement has no clear cost”, but the Office of Budget Responsibility of the UK Financial Supervisory Authority stated that the net cost of the UK may be 34 billion pounds.

A document issued by the House of Commons in December 2020 shows that UK payments to the EU budget will drop from approximately 9 billion pounds per year in 2020 to approximately 1 billion pounds in 2025, and then gradually decrease within a few years.

According to the final agreement, before the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1, 2021, the UK will pay the EU budget as if it were a member state. The United Kingdom received funding from the EU program during this period.

The total liability part is related to the UK’s share of the EU’s outstanding expenditure commitments as of the end of December, which will be paid in subsequent years. It also reflects the UK’s obligations related to the EU’s role as employers-such as pension and sickness insurance for retired employees.

The offsetting factors include the UK’s share of competition fines in cases decided before the end of last year.

The EU plans to report the actual amount due to the UK twice a year and pay it on a monthly basis.

The Ministry of Finance stated that the EU document is an accounting estimate, not an accurate reflection of the actual number that will be paid. The Irish broadcaster RTE earlier reported a figure of 47.5 billion euros.

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