Brexit: UK Divorce Bill Offer Worth Up To 50bn Euros

November 30, 2017

The UK has offered a larger potential "divorce bill" to the EU - which could be worth up to 50bn euros (£44bn), the BBC understands. It was "broadly welcomed", political editor Laura Kuenssberg said, although No 10 has played down reports the final sum could be up to 55bn euros (£49bn). Asked on a trip to Iraq if a figure had been agreed, Theresa May said talks were continuing. And the EU's negotiator Michel Barnier said "we are not there" yet. In September Theresa May suggested the UK was willing to pay about 20bn euros to meet obligations arising from its membership but the EU has been calling for its offer to be increased.

The UK is hoping to move on to talking about trade but the EU will only do this when it deems "sufficient progress" has been made on three areas - the so-called divorce bill, the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit and the Irish border.

Why is the UK paying anything if it's leaving?

The EU says the UK needs to settle its accounts before it leaves. It says the UK has made financial commitments that have to be settled as part of an overall withdrawal agreement. The UK accepts that it has some obligations. And it has promised not to leave any other country out of pocket in the current EU budget period from 2014-20. But the devil is in the detail.

There are also longer term issues like pensions for EU staff, and how the UK's contribution to these is calculated for years to come, and the question of what happens to building projects that had funding agreed by all EU members including the UK but which will only begin construction after the UK has left. Large amounts of the EU's budget are spent in two areas - agriculture and fisheries, and development of poorer areas.


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