UK admits it will have to pay Brexit divorce bill

The Government has conceded for the first time it has financial obligations to the EU after Brexit, in what is being seen as an important development in the Brexit talks.

The Financial Times reports a written statement was released to parliament yesterday which European insiders say goes further than previous references to the UK’s Brexit bill by Prime Minister Theresa May.

In the statement, Brexit minister Baroness Joyce Anelay says: “On the financial settlement, as set out in the Prime Minister’s [Article 50 letter] the Government has been clear that we will work with the EU to determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing member state, in accordance with the law and in the spirit of our continuing partnership.

“The Government recognises that the UK has obligations to the EU, and the EU obligations to the UK, that will survive the UK’s withdrawal — and that these need to be resolved.”

The one-off bill for the UK to leave the EU is estimated to run to up to €100bn gross.

The EU believes its strongest legal claim with a backlog of unpaid commitments made by the UK in annual EU budget rounds.

May argued at a dinner in April that the UK had no legal obligation to settle financial commitments when it left the EU.