The EU wants about £5.3bn (€6.1bn) from Britain, UK officials said. The figure takes into account deductions from the British rebate and funding already paid back to Britain.
The money would guarantee that the EU continues to pay out committed funding to British recipients, such as farmers and university researchers, until the end of 2019. “We hope to have it wrapped up this week,” a senior EU source said yesterday, according to RTÉ.
A British government promise to pay up is unlikely to be forthcoming this week. But there is recognition at UK government level that a price will have to be paid whether there is a deal or no deal to meet outstanding commitments.
Last year, Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor, said withholding payment to the EU after no deal would damage Britain’s prospects of striking free trade deals with other countries.
“If we were to do so, we would effectively rule ourselves out as being regarded as reliable partners in future international deals of any kind, including trade deals.” (© Daily Telegraph, London)