According to Whitehall sources, the UK must contribute to the European Unions budget until 2020 to act as a sweetener for a good Brexit deal.
Britain’s EU exit will leave the bloc’s budget around £8.5billion (€10billion) lighter, leaving European leaders fearful they may have to significantly boost their contributions after Brexit.
EU officials are trying to find a way of softening the financial blow to the bloc after Brexit, particularly between Britain’s departure in March 2019 and the end of the current seven-year budget framework which ends in 2020.
According to Whitehall sources with first-hand knowledge of the UK pre-negotiation deliberations who spoke to The Telegraph: “Payments up to the end of this MFF [Multi-annual financial framework] is something that we could put on the table which would help them fix a big short-term problem in their budgets.”
The aim of such payments would give the UK a “sensible” exit from the bloc in March 2019.
The move appears to have been made predominantly at the behest of Germany and France, with both countries keen for their fellow EU members not to back down over the prospect of a £50billion Brexit Bill.
In the eyes of many Brexit voters, and most probably the government, calling the £50 billion Brexit Bill ‘daylight robbery’ would be an understatement.
You can really see how the EU is clutching at the straws.
They will have a black hole in their budget, one less net contributing member and an increased euroscepticism movement across the remaining 27 states.
Charles Grant, the director of pro-EU think tank the Centre for European Reform, told the Telegraph: “If the British are willing to compromise on the money, they will find the 27 willing to start talks on an FTA”.
Talk about blackmail!