The UK is liable to pay an extra £5bn to the EU in settling-up the Brexit “divorce bill”, show Brussels calculations.
According to the European Union’s consolidated budged report, the cost of the Britain’s departure amounts to €47.5bn (£40.8bn) – a costly hike on the original UK estimates.
The final Brexit tally was calculated to be around £35-39bn by the UK officials during negotiations, provoking a new wave of clashes with the EU.
In March 2018, the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted in the Economic and Fiscal Outlook Report that the total would amount to €41.4 bn (£35.5 bn).
The first €6.8bn (£5.84bn) instalment is due at the end of this year.
NEW: The UK is liable to pay €47.5 billion to the EU as part of its post-Brexit financial settlement, @rtenews has learned.— Tony Connelly (@tconnellyRTE) July 8, 2021
The figures are contained in the EU’s consolidated budget report for 2020.
Ireland’s member of the EU court of Auditors, Tony Murphy, told RTE “for all intent and purposes the figures published by the Commission are definitive.”
“While the 2020 EU consolidated accounts published by the Commission are as of yet provisional the Court has completed its audit work on these accounts,” he said.
“Following internal adoption procedures the Court is set to issue an unmodified opinion on the reliability of the 2020 EU consolidated accounts, as we have in previous years.”
Where do these figures come from?
The money owed by the UK comes in two phases: commitments arising from our EU membership in advance of 31 December 2020, and the rest from EU liabilities.
“The €47.5 billion bill is broken down into two amounts.
“Known as Reste à liquider, this amount of money relates to projects, programmes, agreements or contracts which had already been committed to by the EU 28 before 31 December 2020, but which are not yet fully implemented,” explained RTE Europe Editor, Tony Connelly, in a breaking Twitter thread.
“The second slice of money relates to EU liabilities, such as pensions and sickness insurance of retired EU staff, which the UK owes under Article 143 of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
The Price of Neoliberalism
The matter of our Brexit dues is a highly controversial matter, with many eurosceptics claiming that ‘no deal’ would have meant we would not have had to pay anything over the Withdrawal Agreement or the future relationship treaty.
The remain side, however, are leaning more tongue-in-cheek take on the UK’s miscalculations:
The Price of Xenophobia and Neo-liberalism— Grouse Beater (@Grouse_Beater) July 9, 2021
The UK’s Brexit “divorce bill” is a definitive €47.5bn (£40.8bn) according to estimates from Brussels and Ireland, higher than UKGov’s forecasts of £35 to £39bn. The first tranche, €6.8bn, is due for payment by the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/AtETrsKl3x
Brexit divorce bill now up to £41bn…— Andre Lefevre (@andre_lefevre) July 9, 2021
£37bn for a failed track & Trace system doesn’t seem so bad
Remember when Johnson said the EU “could go whistle” if they thought the UK would ever pay a ‘divorce bill’?— Jonathan Trigell (@jonnytrig) July 9, 2021
Well, they’ll be whistling all the way to the bank with £40.8 bn.
Added to the £220 bn that Brexit’s already cost.
& the £1.2 *trillion* that’s left the city.#Winning
The figures come as part of the Consolidated Annual Accounts of the European Union – provisional accounts until the European Court of Auditors signs them off in November this year.