EU chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, warned on Wednesday that talks with London would not be "painless", knowing that Brussels could claim 100 billion euros in the UK before leaving .
One hundred billion euros ... about. This is the sum that the European Union (EU) is preparing to require London to pay the bill Brexit, according to the calculations of the British daily Financial Times, published Wednesday, May 3. The financial newspaper estimates that Brussels can ask between 91 billion and 113 billion euros in the multiannual financial framework adopted in 2013, which runs for the period 2014-2020.
David Davis, the British secretary at Brexit, hastened to ensure that his country "was not going to pay 100 billion euros" adding that he had never seen circulating, in the official spheres, an addition as salty. Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator of the European Union for Brexit, for his part, said he was unable to give a precise figure. However, he admitted that the negotiations would be "neither quick nor painless" because Brussels intends to recover his due. Indeed, sums have been "committed" and "problems" would be inevitable if the "programs were to be amputated or suspended" before the official exit of the EU from the United Kingdom, on March 29, 2019.
From 60 billion to 100 billion euros
If the British authorities have strangled themselves by reading the calculations of the Financial Times has, in part, because this estimate is much higher than the previous one. London had prepared to receive a bill of about 60 billion euros, based on reports in the press of "private" discussions between the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and other European leaders.
This new estimate also reflects the increasingly tense climate between the UK and its European partners. Some of them - such as Germany and France - have thus decided to raise their financial requirements vis-à-vis the United Kingdom.
Obsession of the addition
According to the Financial Times, Paris wants London to be more involved in supporting European agriculture before slamming the door. The common agricultural policy has always been a bone of contention between the two countries, France considering that its neighbor across the Channel did not participate enough in the agricultural solidarity effort.
Germany, for its part, is against the fact that London retains stakes in several properties, including real estate, which belong to the European Union. A shortfall for the United Kingdom that could amount to ten billion euros, according to the Financial Times.
This obsession with the addition also annoys British negotiators who would like to take the problem in reverse. Behind the numbers, there is a battle on the negotiating roadmap. British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to discuss the future shape of trade and diplomatic relations with Europe. Conversely, Brussels insists on the need to evacuate the financial side first. Good accounts would make the right negotiations.
First publication: 03/05/2017