Final Brexit bill is £ 40bn, with EU demanding £ 2bn more than expected – .

Final Brexit bill is £ 40bn, with EU demanding £ 2bn more than expected – .

Britain’s final bill to leave the EU is £ 40.8 billion, according to accounts filed in Brussels, a sum higher than previously predicted.

Officials had estimated the final cost to be £ 39bn, or £ 1.8bn less than the EU amount shown in the EU’s consolidated budget report for 2020.

The final bill would have been higher, nearly £ 43bn, but Brussels owes the UK £ 1.8bn for its share of the fines imposed by the bloc before the end of the transition period from Brexit to the end of last year.

Ministers believed the final Brexit bill would be less than £ 39bn, as numerous Brexit extensions meant the total had declined thanks to UK contributions to the EU budget.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said in November that around £ 25bn remains to be paid by 2057. Around £ 18bn will be paid in the first five years, the BBC reported.

News of the final withdrawal agreement comes amid tensions between Brussels and London over the Northern Ireland Protocol that was created to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

It ties Northern Ireland to various EU customs controls, which has caused a trade disruption since its implementation in January.

The financial settlement was agreed during tense discussions over the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Both sides agreed on a method for calculating what was owed in 2017, but the Withdrawal Agreement itself was not ratified until 2019.

The financial settlement deal was a precondition for trade negotiations that ended on Christmas Eve last year with a deal.

British politicians have insisted the Brexit bill would not be paid if negotiations ended in a no-deal.

Some £ 197.8million is expected to be paid in 2021, according to EU accounts, with the remainder paid over several decades.

The bill is divided into two parts, one relating to outstanding spending commitments made when the UK was a member state.

The other part covers pension commitments and health insurance for EU staff.

The figures were first reported by broadcaster RTE, which said the EU accounts had yet to be approved by listeners.

Tony Murphy, Irish member of the EU’s Court of Auditors, said the figure is unlikely to change.


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