Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

THE fu­ture re­la­tion­ship be­tween Britain and the EU will take years to ne­go­ti­ate and the UK can ex­pect a hefty bill as the price of exit, Euro­pean Com­mis­sion pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker has warned.

Mr Juncker said that Britain must un­der­stand that it will not be able to ne­go­ti­ate a “cut-price or zero-cost” exit from the EU, but will have to set­tle the bill for com­mit­ments which it en­tered into as a mem­ber.

Talks are un­der­way in Brus­sels on the size of the bill to be pre­sented to Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May when she launches with­drawal talks, with un­con­firmed re­ports sug­gest­ing the de­mand may be as high as £51bn over the next six years.

The sum will cover the UK’s share of the cost of projects and pro­grammes which it signed up to as part of the 28-na­tion bloc, as well as pen­sions for EU of­fi­cials who served dur­ing its 45-year mem­ber­ship.

Mr Juncker used a French slang term to tell the Bel­gian Fed­eral Par­lia­ment in Brus­sels he ex­pected the bill to be very “salty” – mean­ing hefty or pricey.

He said: “Our Bri­tish friends need to know it will not be cut-price or zero-cost.”

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