Home The Homefront Britain won’t have to pay a penny to Brussels after Brexit, Lords...

Britain won’t have to pay a penny to Brussels after Brexit, Lords claim

386
0
SHARE

BRITISH taxpayers cannot be forced to pay anything into EU Budget should Brexit talks break up without a deal, a parliamentary report said last night.

 

A House of Lords inquiry into the legal position facing the UK found that international law will not oblige the country to continue contributing to Brussels coffers after leaving the .

The expert findings are being seen as a massive boost to , further strengthening her hand ahead of the formal start of negotiations later this month.

And they are likely to be a hammer blow to the demand from senior Eurocrats for Britain to be hit with a swingeing £50billion divorce bill as a punishment for leaving the bloc.

The legal opinion was delivered in the report from the Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee last night.

The UK appears to have a strong legal position in respect of the EU budget post-Brexit and this provides important context to the Article 50 negotiations

Baroness Falkner of Margravine

Baroness Falkner of Margravine, a Lib Dem peer and chairman of the sub-committee, said: “The UK appears to have a strong legal position in respect of the EU budget post-Brexit and this provides important context to the Article 50 negotiations.

“Even though we consider that the UK will not be legally obliged to pay in to the EU budget after Brexit, the issue will be a prominent factor in withdrawal negotiations. The Government will have to set the financial and political costs of making such payments against potential gains from other elements of the negotiations.

“The forthcoming negotiations will be more than just a trial of strength.

“They will be about establishing a stable, cooperative and amicable relationship between the UK and the EU. This will not be possible without good will on both sides.”

British flag and European Union flagGETTY

Mrs May is expected to activate the EU’s Article 50 around March 15

Mrs May is expected to activate the EU’s Article 50 exit clause, formally starting the two-year negotiation process, around March 15.

The Prime Minister has insisted that she is determined to agree a trade deal with the EU by the end of the 24-month window for talks.

And while she has accepted that some financial contributions to the Brussels budget may continue after Britain’s exit, she has declared that days of huge annual payments will be “over”.

In contrast, chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is understood to have prepared a £50billion exit fee to demand once the talks begin.

Tory MP Jacob-Rees Mogg said: “The House of Lords EU committee has highly experienced legal advice so is worth listening to.

“This is obviously a important for the negotiations and strengthens our position.”

Ukip MEP Gerard Batten, Brexit spokesman for the anti-Brussels party, said: “The report confirms that Britain is under no legal obligation to continue to the EU budget when we leave.

“I believe we will also be under no moral obligation to continue paying once we leave either.

“We should only continue to pay for very specific schemes, such as redundancy payments for British officials currently working for the EU.”

And a Government spokesman said: “We welcome the significant contribution from the House of Lords to this important debate.

“As this report makes clear, there are a whole range of issues for the UK and the EU, that will need to be addressed as we leave the European Union.

“These issues are subject to negotiation and we won’t get into a running commentary on the details.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here