UK govt pre­pared to pay 40bn Brexit bill: Re­port

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

talks can start on a free trade agree­ment.

EU Brexit ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier has warned that the trade ne­go­ti­a­tions, which Bri­tain hopes will start in Oc­to­ber, may be pushed back to De­cem­ber be­cause Bri­tain is stalling on the bill, diplo­mats said last month.

Bri­tish of­fi­cials are look­ing at propos­ing a tran­si­tion deal where Bri­tain would con­tinue to make net pay­ments to the EU of € 10bn a year for up to three years af­ter it leaves in March 2019, the Tele­graph said.

This money, paid in re­turn for con­tin­ued ac­cess to Europe’s sin­gle mar­ket, would be a ‘par­tial down-pay­ment’ on the fi­nal bill.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s gov­ern­ment re­fused to com­ment on Sun­day on ‘spec­u­la­tion’, although a source told AFP that Bri­tain ‘ will meet our in­terna- put the fig­ure at € 60bn.

Af­ter the ref­er­en­dum vote for Brexit last year, Lon­don be­gan the two-year process of end­ing its mem­ber­ship of the EU in March.

For­mal ne­go­ti­a­tions with the EU be­gan in June, with the next round of talks be­tween Barnier and Bri­tish Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis due to re­sume in Brus­sels on Au­gust 28.

EU lead­ers meet­ing at a sum­mit in Oc­to­ber must agree there has been ‘suf­fi­cient progress’ in the early talks be­fore agree­ing to move onto trade ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Bri­tain is keen to agree a new free trade agree­ment to re­place its mem­ber­ship of Europe’s sin­gle mar­ket, which May wants to leave in or­der to end free move­ment of work­ers into Bri­tain from the rest of the EU.


Bri­tain’s Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May ar­rives on the sec­ond day of a sum­mit of Euro­pean Union (EU) lead­ers in Brus­sels on June 23

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