|Author (Corporate)||United Kingdom: House of Commons: Library|
|Series Title||Briefing Paper|
|Series Details||No.8039 (05.11.18)|
|Content Type||Journal | Series | Blog|
When the United Kingdom left the EU it was expected to make a contribution towards the EU’s outstanding financial commitments. The media labelled this as an ‘exit bill’ or ‘divorce bill’, the EU saw it as a matter of ‘settling the accounts’. The issue would be discussed in the first phase of Brexit negotiations, under the title of the ‘single financial settlement’ (the settlement).
On the 6 August 2017 The Sunday Telegraph reported that Whitehall sources had suggested that the UK was prepared to offer a €40bn financial settlement. However, The Guardian and other news sources on the 7 August 2017 dismissed this report as inaccurate speculation and quoted government sources as saying that such a high bill would be unacceptable to the government and public.
The EU had suggested a figure closer to €60bn would be acceptable.
During the autumn of 2017 varying other figures were cited by various news sources but usually involving the UK accepting the principle of its financial liabilities. In late November 2017, The Daily Telegraph reported that the final payment figure would be 'between €45bn (£40bn) and €55bn (£49bn), depending on how each side calculated the output from an agreed methodology'.
The article said that these terms were agreed at a meeting between both sides in Brussels, although it was not yet an official agreement.
+ 29 March 2017: The UK triggered Article 50, the process for the start of the negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
As a follow on to the European Council held in Brussels on the 19 October 2017, the heads of state and government of the Member States of the European Union met in EU27 formation (EU Member States minus the United Kingdom) on the 20 October 2017. They adopted conclusions on the state of the Brexit negotiations.
To the disappointment of the United Kingdom government, the EU27 deemed that insufficient progress had been made on the EU's three priority aims (citizens’ rights, financial settlement and Northern Ireland) to allow for the second sequence of negotiations, including trade issues, to begin .
The issue would be examined again in December 2017 at the next European Council summit. However, internal preparatory discussions as to second sequence issues would begin between the EU27 and the EU Institutions.
It was announced on the 31 October 2017 in a jointly agreed statement by Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that a further shortened sequence of Article 50 negotiations would be held on the 9 and 10 November 2017.
The short sixth round of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Commission took place between the 9 and 10 November 2017. They were led by David Davis, head of the Department for Exiting the European Union, and Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for the European Commission's Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom.
There were three negotiating groups covering:
The issues related to Northern Ireland and the governance of the withdrawal agreement were addressed by the Coordinators.
Little clear progress was reported by either side at the end of the negotiations. David Davis said 'this week has enabled us to consolidate the progress of earlier negotiating rounds and to draw out those areas where further political and technical discussion is required ... This is now about moving into the political discussions that will enable both of us to move forward together'.
Michel Barnier said 'Do not expect from us today, at this stage, announcements or decisions. ... The discussions over the past days – in between the two European Councils – are a moment of deepening, clarification and technical work.
He also indicated that the UK had two weeks left to make concessions if the Brexit negotiations were to advance to the next stage at the December 2017 European Council meeting. The concessions were seen to concern, in particular, the issues of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the financial settlement.
|Subject Categories||Economic and Financial Affairs|
|Countries / Regions||Europe, United Kingdom|