Daily Management Review

EU Pressure Reportedly Forces UK To Bow Down, Could Agree To Pay £50bn For Brexit Divorce


UK has agreed to bow down of EU pressure in regards to more payment for Brexit as it is keen to bring France and Germany to start the negotiations on trade, UK could end up paying £50bn to Brussels.
Even though the British are hopeful that the final net bill would be significantly lower, it has, for now, agreed to make a payment of £89bn for leaving the bloc which is a gross financial settlement. This has been possible due to prolonged behind-the-scenes negotiations.
The payments are in lieu of 44 years of accrued bills related to EU’s pending bills. Loans, pension and other liabilities that the UK owes, a senior EU official reportedly told the media. The UK has reportedly agreed to pay up, the official reportedly said.
“We have heard the UK wants to come along with the money,” the official said. “We have understood it covers the liabilities and what we consider the real commitments. But we have to see the fine print.”
While the British government would strive to bring down the bill and the EU leaders are not keen on discussing numbers yet, the bill for the UK would be between £53bn and £58bn (€60bn to €65bn).
Agreement to enhance the amount that the UK would have to pay the EU was reached after Theresa May reportedly made key cabinet ministers fall in line.
December 4 will see the most important Brexit meetings till date between the UK and the EU when May will meet the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. The three Brexit issues that would be on the table would be the divorce bill, the Irish border issue and the protection of the rights of EU citizens. Recommendations on achievement of sufficient progress could be issued by the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on t eh same day of the meeting, if he believes that the meeting’s outcome is favorable to both sides for carrying forward the negotiations.
While the ultimate decision would be arrived at by the EU leaders during the meeting of the European council on 14 and 15 December, the recommendations by Barnier for moving ahead with the negotiations would be very important.
“I think we can reach sufficient progress, but again we haven’t seen anything on paper yet, so I am always extremely cautious,” said the EU official.
Now since there are signals that the money issue is settled, the Irish border issue becomes the most touchy one in the Brexit negotiations. Whether a call to refuse sufficient progress on Barnier would be made by the Irish government to hold up the talks is yet to become clear. “There are lots of different signals coming about the possibility of an Irish veto,” one EU diplomat reportedly said. “As things stand now, I’d say we have 50/50 chance of that happening.”
One senior diplomat reportedly told the media: “The divorce bill should be fine now. That was the big issue. And then it wasn’t. The border is the big worry. And I don’t know how they can square that circle. That is the big one now and it is up to the Irish to decide.”

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