Beyond the exit

Beyond the exit

The claim: The UK will continue sending money to Brussels after Brexit.

Reality Check verdict: The UK's deal to leave the European Union is likely to involve a final payment. How much that is and how long the UK will get to pay it will be decided by the negotiations. Continuing payments will probably also be needed if the UK wants to continue to be involved with programmes such as EU funding for science or to retain preferential access to the single market.

In an interview with the Financial Times, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has suggested that the UK will have to contribute towards EU spending commitments long after it has formally left the bloc.

Whether this is the case will be decided in the Brexit negotiations, but there are different types of payments that the UK could be expected to make to the EU.

Firstly, there is likely to be a one-off "divorce bill", which is expected to cover any outstanding payment commitments from the UK to the EU budget.


The second type of potential payments relates to money that the UK could be asked for if it wants preferential access to the single market after it has left the EU.

In October, the FT suggested that the UK could be presented with a divorce bill from the EU of about ˆ20bn (?17bn). This week, it tripled its estimate to about ˆ60bn.

Whatever the final sum, a significant part of it will be made up of the UK's share of outstanding EU budget commitments, which is money that has been committed by the EU to specific programmes but that has not yet been paid out.

The European Commission has previously likened such commitments to the payments made to a construction company, which get paid only according to the progress it has made on its work.

For example, a science research project may receive EU funding over a long period of time, well beyond the year in which the funding commitment was first made.

We do not yet know how the UK will contribute to such payments after it has left the EU. The same goes for the UK's future payments towards the pensions of EU civil servants, which will probably constitute another part of the Brexit divorce bill.

Whether or not the UK will settle the final bill in instalments over several years or through a lump-sum payment will likewise be subject to negotiations.

The European Commission told the BBC that it "will not speculate on any issues related to the outcome of the UK referendum before the notification of Article 50 is made".

In addition to the divorce payment, the UK might decide to continue contributing to the EU budget in return for certain benefits such as preferential access to the single market.

Norway and Switzerland both have significant access to the single market and they pay money to the EU for the privilege.

Clearly, if the UK decided it wanted to trade just on WTO rules then it would not have to make such contributions.

But there are other programmes such as EU funding for research or the European Investment Bank that the UK might want to continue its involvement with, which would involve making financial contributions.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Thousands protest across US on Trump’s 100th day in office (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Thousands protest across US on Trump’s 100th day in office (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)..

29-Apr, 20:50

Thousands of people took to the streets in Washington to protest Donald...

Kendall Jenner bares her boobs as she poses TOPLESS for sexiest selfie yet wearing just a pair of thigh-high boots as she faces backlash over cancelled Fyre Festival weeks after Pepsi ad controversy

Kendall Jenner bares her boobs as she poses TOPLESS for sexiest selfie yet wearing just a pair..

29-Apr, 16:38

With just her arm protecting her modesty, the Victoria’s Secret model...

British 'Syria fighter' Josh Walker accused of terror offences

British 'Syria fighter' Josh Walker accused of terror offences..

29-Apr, 14:25

A British man who allegedly fought against so-called Islamic State in...

Russian authorities detain dozens at anti-Putin rallies

Russian authorities detain dozens at anti-Putin rallies..

29-Apr, 11:40

Russian authorities have detained dozens of protesters at rallies...

Egypt Bans Top Human Rights Lawyer From Travel Abroad

Egypt Bans Top Human Rights Lawyer From Travel Abroad..

26-Jan, 10:04

A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer says he has been banned from...

Pistorius Prosecutor Quits, Plans Anti-Corruption Role

Pistorius Prosecutor Quits, Plans Anti-Corruption Role..

31-Jan, 09:56

The South African state prosecutor who led the case against convicted...

Campaigning candidates consider France's wartime past

Campaigning candidates consider France's wartime past..

28-Apr, 06:00

France's troubled wartime past is taking center stage Friday in the...

Secrets Of Nature Episode 249

Secrets Of Nature Episode 249..

13-Mar, 08:52

The following Secrets Of Nature Episode 249 English Sub has been...