Brexit: EU announces UK cost of divorce bill ‘final’ | News | DW

The European Commission said on Friday its calculation of the Brexit Divorce Bill was “final”.

EU accounts released last month show the UK government owes the bloc € 47.5 billion ($ 56.5 billion).

A British government spokesperson contradicted the EU figure, saying the bill to leave the EU was in fact between € 41 billion and € 45 billion.

The settlement is part of the UK’s withdrawal agreement following its vote to leave the EU.

What the EU says about the Brexit bill

European Commission spokesman Balazs Ujvari said: “The report is final and the calculations have been made in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.”

It followed a 200-page annual accounts document published by the EU on June 30.

Ujvari said the report said the sum was “47.5 billion euros, which the UK will have to pay into the EU budget over the next few years.”

However, he said the UK paid the first installment of that bill, € 6.8 billion, in full and on time in June.

What the UK says about the Brexit bill

The UK government has pledged to pay its bill in part to contribute to the pension funds but disagrees on the calculation of the final amount.

This follows a year of disagreements with the European Union which finally saw a deal come to fruition on Christmas Eve last year.

A UK official said: “The UK government’s estimate of the value of the net financial settlement remains in the middle range of £ 35 billion to £ 39 billion (€ 41 billion to 45 billion).

“We do not recognize the figure cited by the EU for the Brexit bill.”

Why is there a gap?

The UK spokesperson said the EU’s calculations were “an estimate produced by the EU for its own internal accounting purposes”.

“It does not reflect, for example, money owed to the UK, which reduces the amount we pay,” the official said.

Boris Johnson is seeking to present the British sums “shortly” to the British parliament, the spokesperson said.

However, Ujvari said: “Everything that needed to be done has been done. Therefore, we have no indication that the overall figure will be in dispute.”

jc / rt (AFP, Reuters)


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