Date
20 August 2017
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis (left) and the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier hold a joint news conference after a round of Brexit talks in Brussels. Photo: Reuters
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis (left) and the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier hold a joint news conference after a round of Brexit talks in Brussels. Photo: Reuters

UK ready to pay up to 40 billion euros to leave EU: report

Britain is prepared to pay up to 40 billion euros (US$47 billion) as part of a deal to leave the European Union, Reuters reports, citing the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

The EU has floated a figure of 60 billion euros and wants significant progress on settling Britain’s liabilities before talks start on issues such as future trading arrangements.

The government department responsible for Brexit talks declined to comment on the article. So far, Britain has given no official indication of how much it would be willing to pay.

The newspaper said British officials were likely to offer to pay 10 billion euros a year for three years after leaving the EU in March 2019, then finalize the total alongside detailed trade talks.

Payments would only be made as part of a deal that included a trade agreement, the newspaper added.

“We know [the EU's] position is 60 billion euros, but the actual bottom line is 50 billion euros. Ours is closer to 30 billion euros but the actual landing zone is 40 billion euros, even if the public and politicians are not all there yet,” the newspaper quoted one “senior Whitehall source” as saying.

The EU commission sees UK payments continuing to 2020 despite Brexit.

Whitehall is the London district where most British government departments and ministers are based.

A second Whitehall source said Britain’s bottom line was “30 billion euros to 40 billion euros” and a third source said Prime Minister Theresa May was willing to pay “north of 30 billion euros”, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

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