The latest EU accounts suggest the UK has to pay billions more than originally planned – € 47.5 billion (£ 40.8 billion).
But Downing Street strongly rejected the revised net figure on Friday, insisting that the Departure The sum remains within the range of previous targets between 35 and 39 billion pounds.
A spokesperson for No 10 has pledged to provide more details on the issue to Parliament in the coming weeks.
“We do not recognize this figure, it is an estimate produced by the EU for its own internal accounting purposes,” they said. “For example, it doesn’t reflect all the money owed to the UK, which reduces the amount we pay.
“Our estimate remains in the middle range of £ 35bn to £ 39bn and we will release full details to parliament shortly. “
The bill covers spending commitments made during the UK’s nearly 50 years of membership in the ME.
The two sides agreed on how the amount would be calculated as part of the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement which allowed the UK to leave the EU.
However, while the methodology has been confirmed, an exact figure has not been.
In 2018, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimated that the so-called ‘divorce bill’ would cost the UK government £ 37.1 billion – but the figure that appeared in the latest Brussels accounts suggests that the UK is at least £ 3 billion in debt. After.
The EU says the revised figure is “correct”.
“The report is final and the calculations have been made in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement,” a spokesperson said.
“We have already informed the UK government of the payments they have to make for the first part of this year and they have in fact already paid part of the amount concerned.
“Therefore, we have absolutely no indication at this time that the invoice or the amount we calculated will be disputed. “
The UK left the EU at the end of January 31, 2020. This began a transition period which ended at 11pm on December 31, 2020.
EU accounts for 2020 show the UK owes the EU € 6.8 billion (£ 5.8 billion) this year.