EU 'will increase divorce bill by £10bn' if Brexit delayed

Posted On: 
18th November 2018

Theresa May faces a fresh wave of Tory anger amid claims Brussels will demand a further £10bn from the UK if Brexit is delayed.

An extension could add billions to the £39bn the UK has already agreed to hand to Brussels.

The Prime Minister said last month that the post-Brexit transition period could be extended by “a matter of months” if more time was required to reach a deal and protect the Northern Ireland border.

She argued a delay could stop the backstop proposal to keep the border open - which has been heavily criticised by pro-Brexit figures in her party - ever having to be triggered.

But according to the Observer, the EU will insist that any extension to the transition must last at least a whole year - adding a £10bn bill on top of the £39bn the UK has already agreed to hand to Brussels.

Tory MPs already angry about paying the multi-billion pound divorce settlement will be outraged at a further payment and at being tied to the bloc for another 12 months.

The EU will demand that the maximum length of time for an extension is confirmed this week, according to the Observer, ahead of a crunch summit of EU leaders, during which the draft withdrawal agreement is set to be rubber stamped.

At the moment the draft withdrawal plan says a joint EU-UK committee would “before 1 July 2020, adopt a single decision extending the transition period up to [31 December 20XX]”.

But a No 10 source told the paper any details of an extension were “still part of an ongoing negotiation”.