Mr. Michael Barnier, the EU Chief Commissioner for Brexit, has said that Britain must pay 50 billion pounds as part of the exit deal. The amount is based on obligations the UK is due to pay for UK based projects, pensions, and loan guarantees.
Steve Baker, the Conservative MP for Wycombe, stated that the amount was high because it was normal in the first stage of negotiations that high demands are made.
Mr. Ian Duncan Smith said that it was a ‘dreadful joke’ and that the actual amount that will be paid will be ‘peanuts’. He also said that Brits in favor of remaining in the EU will use it to try to stop Britain from exiting the EU.
Britain’s Ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, said that the exit deal could take up to 10 years to finalize. This was in contrast with Brexit Secretary David Davis’s assertions that a deal would be finalized by 18 months.
Conservatives and European officials also dismissed Sir Ivan’s statement. Mr. Tomas Prouza, the Czech Republic’s Europe minister, said that the UK had to pay the amount because it is based on the existing EU budget that the UK approved.
Mrs. Theresa May, who traveled to Brussels to attend the EU summit, said she hoped that the process to leave the EU would be as smooth as possible.
These comments were made whilst she was excluded from a dinner where the 27 other EU members discussed Brexit.
The main topic of discussion during the summit will be the migration crisis, however, Brexit will be discussed once Mrs. May leaves.
Mr. Barnier said that there will be no negotiations with before the UK invokes Article 50, which would officially signal Britain departure from the EU, is triggered.
Downing Street said that it will fulfill its financial obligations as long as it was a member of the EU, but any further demands had to be negotiated.