The European Commission is plotting to force the UK into paying even more for Brexit, burdening Britain with all related divorce costs and risks, according to draft negotiating directives.
The potentially huge bill must also be paid in euros rather than pounds, the European Union’s (EU) unelected executive arm said, meaning the UK will bear all the currency risk.
The list of demands sees little room for compromise; it includes the costs of relocating any EU institution and the UK’s share of a massive aid package given to Turkey in return for easing the migrant crisis.
“The United Kingdom should fully cover the specific costs related to the withdrawal process such as the relocation of the agencies or other Union bodies,” the Commission wrote, adding the UK’s financial obligations to the EU “should be defined in euro” rather than sterling.
The demands were made in a confusingly and bureaucratically dubbed, “Non Paper on Key Elements Likely to Feature in the Draft Negotiating Directives”.
The document demands the UK “honour its share of the financing of all the obligations undertaken while it was a member of the Union” including the so-called “Facility for Refugees in Turkey”.
“These obligations cover liabilities, including contingent liabilities, legal and budgetary commitments and any other obligations deriving from a basic act within the meaning of Article 54 of the Financial Regulation,” the draft document adds.
Britain is one of the largest net contributors to the EU budget, along with Germany, France, and Italy. Brexit is likely to leave a large hole in the bloc’s budget.
In February, it emerged the EU is planning to hammer the UK with a £51.2 billion (€60 billion) divorce bill.
Eurocrats demonstrated their intention to play hardball when Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, insisted a future trade deal and the status of British expats could not be discussed until the bill was paid.
At the beginning March, however, a House of Lords Committee concluded the UK has no legal obligation to pay the massive bill under international law.