Brexit latest: Brussels forces Britain to pay £40.8 billion bill for EU breakaway

Brexit: Barnier says things will be 'more difficult' for UK

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Brexit Britain’s first tranche of the Withdrawal Agreement divorce bill, €6.8 billion (£5.8 billion), is due for payment by the end of the year. The UK must then pay back billions to the European Union over several decades.

Official accounts filed in Brussels showed Britain owes 47.5 billion euros under a series of articles both the EU and UK agreed to.

In a consolidated budget from the EU, the bloc found the UK’s liability for its outstanding financial commitments is 12.6 percent.

Therefore, Britain must pay £30 billion under Article 140, relating to projects, programmes, agreements or contracts which had already been committed to by the 28 member states before December 31, 2020.

Britain must then pay a further £12 billion under Article 143, relating to its share of pension liabilities as of the end of the transition period last year.

This is offset by around £1.8 billion due to fines imposed by the bloc on companies and other entities.

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Previously the Office for Budget Responsibility had estimated the final cost of the Brexit deal’s Withdrawal Agreement at around £39 billion.

Tony Murphy, Ireland’s member of the EU’s Court of Auditors, told RTE the bloc will not budge on the figure.

He said in a statement to the Irish broadcaster: “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.

“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.

“Therefore, for all intent and purposes the figures published by the Commission are definitive.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “This is just an accounting estimate, and does not reflect the exact amount the UK is expected to pay to the EU this year.

“We will publish detail on payments to and from the EU made under the financial settlement in the EU finances statement later this year.”

It marks the latest point of contention between the UK and EU post-Brexit, with the bloc urging Britain to consider a Swiss-style veterinary agreement on agri-foods in Northern Ireland to end a post-Brexit ‘sausage war’.

European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic said: “This could be negotiated very quickly and would address many concerns.

“The UK continuing to apply EU SPS rules will do away with a vast majority of the checks in the Irish Sea and would not require checks elsewhere, say in Northern Ireland.”

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