FURIOUS MPs demanded answers from the Treasury after ministers signalled Britain’s EU divorce bill could rise by a further £5billion.
Brexit Minister Robin Walker refused to rule out an extra payment if the transition period runs beyond December 2020.
The declaration forced Tory veteran Bill Cash to storm: “This looks like something out of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected”.
The European Scrutiny Committee warned prolonging the “status quo” transition beyond the EU’s preferred end date of December 31 2020 could leave the UK on the hook for extra contributions to the Brussels budget.
The PM has only agreed to cover the EU budget to the end of 2020 as part of a £35-£39 billion divorce bill.
The committee said if the transition goes on for longer it could make the UK liable for further payments as it would effectively be staying in the single market and customs union.
Britain could also end up tied into new EU spending programmes such as the Common Agricultural Policy.
But the UK would be left without having a say over how they are designed or spent.
The transition, described as an implementation period by the Government, is set to begin when Britain formally leaves the EU on March 29 2019.
Sir Bill said: “If the transition lasts beyond 2020, then this could require the UK to make payments into the EU budget for 2021 as well, and therefore from January 2021 we’d then be paying into the EU’s new long-term budget and the net result of this is that the additional costs could run into billions of pounds, and the estimate is between £4billion and £5billion.”
The minister did not deny the figure, but insisted there was little difference between the timescales being proposed by the UK and Brussels.
And he massaged Brexiteer’s concerns the transition could be open-ended, insisting there would be an “end date” in an agreement.
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