Amidst discussions on Brexit, a media reported stated that Britain is open to paying up to 40 billion euros ($47.1 billion) towards a so-called Brexit divorce bill to the European Union as long as a future UK-EU trade deal can be secured. Three separate sources within the UK civil service and government with knowledge of the UK’s Brexit negotiating strategy have confirmed the figure, dismissing previous reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May would agree to a 50-billion-pound bill as “too high”.
As per ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ reports, the UK government mediators for Brexit have been able to ascertain that the 27-member EU’s actual opening position is around 60 billion euros – not 100 billion euros as previously suggested.
“The 27 say they can’t knock off the bits of their ‘bill’ until the very end – but politically we can’t move on money until the 27 member states start to show compromise. As a negotiation process, it just doesn’t work,” a senior civil servant based at Whitehall in London told the newspaper.
“We know their position is 60 billion euros, but the actual bottom line is 50 billion euros. Ours is closer to 30 billion euros, but the landing zone is 40 billion euros, even if the public and politicians are not all there yet,” the official added.
A second Whitehall source confirmed the UK bottom line was “30 billion euros-40 billion euros” while a third political source put the figure in May’s mind at “north of 30 billion euros”.
Notably, such a large offer may turn out to be politically divisive for Theresa May.