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Britain Faces Extra £10 Billion Cost for Soaring Brussels Pensions Pot

British Prime Minister Theresa May gives her landmark Brexit speech in Complesso Santa Maria Novella on September 22, 2017 in Florence, Italy. She outlined the UK's proposals to the EU in an attempt to break a deadlock ahead of the fourth round of negotiations that begin on Monday. Florence is …
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
LIAM DEACON

The European Union (EU) is expecting the UK to pay an extra £10 billion towards the so-called Brexit ‘divorce bill’ to cover the rapidly increasing cost of Eurocrats’ generous pensions.

Newly revealed EU accounts show the cost of pension liabilities for Brussels officials rose by 5.4 per cent last year to €67.2 billion (£59 billion). The figure has more than doubled in the past decade.

The huge cost is expected to be one of the largest parts of the so-called Brexit ‘divorce bill’ that Brussels is demanding the UK pays before talks can proceed.

A diplomat with a close relationship to Brexit talks discussed the impact of the new bill on British citizens. Speaking to The Times, the official blasted: “Paying pensions for Eurocrats after Brexit is going to be one of the most resented divorce costs.

“A lot of people are worried it will be too much for the British public to swallow.”

The average Eurocrat retires at 62 years old and receives a pension of up to £46,000 a year. The average Briton receives a pension worth £18,100 a year.

Just this week, Michael Barnier, the European Commission’s chief negotiator, reiterated his position that his team will block talks on a trade deal with the UK unless a commitment to cover supposed budget liabilities, including pensions, is made.

In a statement last Thursday, UKIP’s interim leader Steve Crowther said the EU was holding the UK to “ransom”, forcing Britain to “buy the right to continue negotiating”.

On the 18th of September, it was reported that the prime minister is preparing to cave to EU demands and offer £30 billion with “almost unanimous” support from her Tory cabinet.

However, Sir Bill Cash, Conservative MP for Stone and chairman of the Commons European scrutiny committee, said that the government must not give in to “airy fairy” Brussels demands based on generous pay and perks for officials.

“This is a wake-up call for those encouraging a hopelessly generous deal with the EU,” he said. “It is not in Britain’s national interest to make payments driven by the EU’s administrative largesse. We need a mutually agreed and published statement of obligations in black and white so the public can make a judgment.”

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