Britain must pay EU divorce bill in euros: document




  • In World
  • 2017-04-21 08:52:44Z
  • By AFP

Brussels (AFP) - Britain may be leaving the EU but it will still have to settle the divorce bill in euros, not pounds, according to an EU document on the upcoming negotiations.

"An orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union requires settling the financial obligations undertaken before the withdrawal date," said the European Commission document seen by AFP Thursday.

"The agreement should define the precise way in which these obligations will be calculated... the obligations should be defined in euro," it added.

The document did not say how much the Brexit settlement might cost but EU officials have previously said it could be as much as 60 billion euros, sparking howls of outrage in London, which puts the figure nearer 20 billion.

Titled "Non Paper on key elements likely to feature in the draft negotiating directives," the document was drawn up for the European Commission, which will conduct the Brexit negotiations with Britain.

It covers in more detail the same ground outlined last month by EU president Donald Tusk in response to Prime Minister Theresa May's official March 29 notification that Britain was leaving the bloc.

- Citizens' rights -

Tusk stressed then that the EU will insist on agreeing the future of citizens in Britain and the Brexit bill first before considering London's demand for a free trade pact.

The Commission document outlined its aims for a reciprocal deal for EU citizens in the UK and Brits elsewhere in the bloc, saying their rights should last "for the lifetime of those concerned" rather than giving a cut-off date.

The Brexit divorce settlement should not just be limited to workers, the paper said, and should also apply to family members who join citizens "at any point in time before/after the withdrawal date".

Residency and social security were also highlighted by the Commission as rights it will seek to protect in the two-year negotiations with London, as the two sides try to undo the mass of legislation agreed since Britain joined then European Economic Community in 1973.

Both the divorce bill and the fate of EU citizens are expected to be among the toughest areas to reach agreement on, following a Brexit campaign that rallied against Britain's payments to Brussels and the number of migrants in the country.

Anticipating possible disputes, the draft paper envisaged setting up "an institutional structure to ensure an effective enforcement of the commitments under the agreement," while maintaining the primacy of the European Court of Justice.

For disputes outside EU law, "an alternative dispute settlement should only be envisaged if it offers equivalent guarantees of independence and impartiality as the ECJ," it added.

On a visit to London on Thursday, the head of the European parliament, Antonio Tajani, said that after Brexit, EU citizens living in the UK should have the "same rights as today".

"For us it's important to ensure that Brexit does not have any negative effects on their life and the rights they are enjoying," he said, stressing that "it is a priority and it is a red line".

Tajani, who also met with Prime Minister Theresa May during his visit, said Britain could still change its mind on Brexit.

"If the UK wanted to stay, everybody would be in favour. I would be very happy," he said.

May, who called for snap elections for June 8 seeking to increase her slim majority before gruelling negotiations with Brussels, has said several times that there could be "no turning back" on Brexit.

COMMENTS

More Related News

UK
UK's May strikes $1.3 billion deal with Northern Irish party to prop up government
  • World
  • 2017-06-26 18:45:21Z

By Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal on Monday to prop up her minority government by agreeing to at least 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in extra funding for Northern Ireland in return for the support of the province's biggest Protestant

PM Theresa May pays out for N. Ireland deal to govern Britain
PM Theresa May pays out for N. Ireland deal to govern Britain

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives struck a hotly contested pact with a Christian fundamentalist party on Monday that will allow her party to govern after they suffered an electoral disaster. The deal reached with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was slammed by opposition parties as political bribery, amid concerns about its impact on the province's delicate peace process. "I welcome this agreement which will enable us to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom," May said in a statement.

With blocks failing safety checks, UK
With blocks failing safety checks, UK's May calls for more tests
  • World
  • 2017-06-26 12:01:54Z

British Prime Minister Theresa May appealed to landlords on Monday to allow potentially flammable building material in their properties to be tested as she sought to reassure residents on safety after a tower block fire killed 79 people in London. The Grenfell Tower blaze, which trapped dozens of people

UK: All samples from high-rise towers fail fire safety tests
UK: All samples from high-rise towers fail fire safety tests
  • World
  • 2017-06-25 23:14:59Z

LONDON (AP) - The list of high-rise apartment towers in Britain that have failed fire safety tests grew to 60, officials said Sunday, revealing the mounting challenge the government faces in the aftermath of London's Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Europeans learn to live with _ and adapt to _ terror attacks
Europeans learn to live with _ and adapt to _ terror attacks
  • World
  • 2017-06-25 11:24:44Z

PARIS (AP) - The jihadis' targets in Europe are depressingly repetitive: the Brussels metro, the Champs-Elysees in Paris (twice), tourist-filled bridges in London (twice) and a U.K. rock concert. And that's just the past few months.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.