The UK government says it will pay a £39 billion Brexit divorce bill

  • Brexit bill: “Between 35 and 39 billion pounds.”
  • A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the size of the financial settlement on Friday morning.
  • Britain has agreed to continue making payments to the EU budget until the end of 2020.

LONDON – Britain is set to pay a Brexit divorce bill of up to £39 billion.

The financial settlement Britain will pay to the EU as part of its exit will be between 35 and 39 billion pounds, a spokesperson for Downing Street confirmed on Friday morning.

“We expect the range to be somewhere between 35 and 39 billion pounds,” May’s spokesman confirmed on Friday morning.

“We would look at it as a fair settlement of our obligations. We have always been clear that where we have commitments we would honour them.”

The fee was jointly-agreed in a meeting between the Treasury and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Downing Street said.

This follows British and EU negotiators reaching an agreement on the first phase of Brexit negotiations after overnight talks between Theresa May, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the DUP and the Irish government.

May travelled to Brussels on Friday morning with Brexit secretary David Davis to Brussels for talks with the European Commission, before the deal was finalised and published by the EU.

“Getting to this point has required give and take on both sides,” May told the world media this morning.

“I very much welcome the prospect of moving ahead to the next phase to talk about trade and security and to discuss the positive and ambitious future relationship that is in all of our interests.”

Agreement on the divorce bill, citizens’ rights and Irish border means talks can move onto the issues of future trade and transition before the New Year.

May concedes to EU over Brexit bill

The question of how much money Britain must pay to the EU as part of its departure has been one of the key sticking points in negotiations since they got underway following the triggering of Article 50.

In the agreement reached by the two sides in the early hours of this morning, it says that Britain will pay its share of EU budget commitments “outstanding at 31 December 2020.”

This means Britain will make payments to the EU until the end of 2020, nearly two years after exit day in March 2019.

In September Prime Minister May offered a sum of up to £20 billion. However, this fell short of the EU’s estimation of how much it is owed.

Earlier this year, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described reports of an exit payment of around £40 billion as “extortionate” and said the EU should “go whistle.”

In September Brexit Secretary David Davis sought to calm staunch Brexiteers in his party by describing reports of a Brexit bill being as large as £40 billion as “made up.”

“I’m not going to do an actual number on air, it would be ridiculous to do that, but we have a fairly clear idea where we’re going on this,” Davis added.

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