Brexit: EU in row with Downing Street over 'divorce bill'

Brexit-inspired mural by artist Banksy
Brexit-inspired mural by artist Banksy

Downing Street rejects figures that emerged from EU's 2020 accounts

Published

A fresh Brexit dispute has emerged over the size of the UK’s “divorce bill” after the European Union estimated it is now worth billions more than expected.

Downing Street on Friday rejected the new net figure that emerged in Brussels’ latest accounts of 47.5 billion euros (£40.8 billion).

No 10 insisted the figure Britain owes remains within the range of its previous estimates of between £35-39 billion.

The bill, buried in the EU’s accounts for 2020, states that 6.8 billion euros (£5.8 billion) is to be paid by the UK this year.

Downing Street said it did not accept the revised sum and pledged to issue more details to Parliament in the coming weeks.

“We don’t recognise that figure, it’s an estimate produced by the EU for its own internal accounting purposes,” a No 10 spokesman said.

“For example it doesn’t reflect all the money owed back to the UK which reduces the amount we pay.

“Our estimate remains in the central range of between £35-39 billion and we will publish full details in Parliament shortly.”