BRITAIN has agreed to pay up to £39billion in a Brexit divorce bill as Theresa May pushes for a trade deal with the EU.
UK taxpayers are set to continue handing over cash to Brussels for decades to come – with Sun analysis revealing an eye-watering sum of at least £2.59bn a year. Here’s what we know.
Britain is one of the biggest contributors and its departure will leave a huge hole in the European Union’s finances.
The rest of the EU wants a deal to ensure all the plans agreed during the UK’s period as a member continue to be funded.
Lawyers for the UK government have reportedly advised we are not obliged to pay a penny when we leave the bloc.
But striking a trade deal is impossible without some kind of settlement and EU officials demanded up to £100billion.
Theresa May has said Britain will pay its dues, but the exact figure has been the subject of fraught negotiations.
Theresa May has tabled a whopping offer to the EU in a bid to move talks forward and start negotiating a future trade deal.
The UK is set to pay between £35 and £39billion in a divorce bill, spread over the several decades – but Theresa May has said the offer will only stay on the table if a transition deal is reached by March.
The details of the deal are causing unrest among Brexiteers, even though at £35billion to £39billion the financial settlement is less than many had feared.
But the agreement, reached on December 8, negotiations can move onto talking about the vital transitional deal and a long-term agreement on future trade.
Theresa May said the settlement, which includes Britain’s share of the EU’s budget to the end of 2020, as well as outstanding debts and liabilities such as pensions of staff at European institutions, was “fair to the British tax payer”.
The December 8 agreement means the EU will recommend that meeting “sufficient progress” has been made at a meeting of EU leaders on Friday.
This will allow the talks to move on to stage two – the vital transitional deal and the long-term agreement on future trade.
Talks are expected to officially begin in the New Year and focus initially on the transition deal – which will be an interim arrangement between the UK and the EU until we leave completely.
In February 2018 the European Parliament is expected to vote on guidelines for trade talks, although which will allow initial discussions to begin.
On March 30 2018 Britain will officially leave the EU – two years after Article 50 was triggered by Theresa May.