Will UK pay the ‘divorce money’?

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Theresa May at a Conference; Flickr

Brexit has been in the news for a really long time now. Updates about the issue keep coming every alternate day.

In a new turn of events, according to a group of peers, UK could be exiting the EU without paying anything provided there is no post-Brexit deal.

The Lords EU Financial Committee said that the government will be in a strong legal position if the Article 50 discussions ended with no deal.

There have been reports that the EU may demand a ‘divorce bill’ of upto £52 bn. To secure PM Theresa May’s aim of continued favourable access to EU markets, UK may have to pay up.

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Previously, PM May had warned EU to not punish UK for voting to leave EU. Several EU leaders had said that UK would be better off being a part of EU and it cannot enjoy better arrangement outside EU.

There are a number of points that will be discussed in the upcoming discussions, some of them may be;

 

  • Should the already-agreed contributions to the EU budget be honoured and up to what point
  • If UK chooses to pay in order to gain access to the single markets
  • What the UK should pay in order to continue participating in EU programmes such as Erasmus
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The cross-party committee said, “This would be undesirable for the remaining member states, who would have to decide how to plug the hole in the budget created by the UK’s exit without any kind of transition.It would also damage the prospects of reaching friendly agreement on other issues.”

It further added that, “Although there are competing interpretations, we conclude that if agreement is not reached, all EU law – including provisions concerning ongoing financial contributions and machinery for adjudication – will cease to apply, and the UK would be subject to no enforceable obligation to make any financial contribution at all,” reported Reuters.

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