EU lawyers admit that £92billion Brexit Bill is impossible to enforce
EU lawyers admit that £92billion Brexit Bill is impossible to enforce and warn Eurocrats against attempting to make the UK pay the massive bill
- EU officials were told they could not ‘cherry pick’ the accounts and hit the UK with the hefty bill
- The advice is a boost for Theresa May who has dismissed the staggering bill
- But the European Commission appears to have overruled the advice and are pushing ahead with the demand regardless
It is ‘legally impossible’ to enforce demands for Britain to pay a massive £92billion (€100billion) divorce bill, lawyers in Brussels have reportedly privately admitted.
The shock revelation is contained in minutes of a meeting and given to the Brexit negotiation team in Brussels.
But the European Commission has ignored the advice of its own lawyers and pushed ahead with demanding the hefty bill regardless.
The staggering bill has contributed to the poisoning of relations between Britain and the EU.
EU negotiators have doubled the charge the UK was thought to be facing in order to cover farm subsidies and plug the giant hole in its budget up until 2020.
The numbers have shot up because they are trying to deny the UK a share of billions of pounds of assets across the continent – such as buildings.
But it has now emerged that serious questions have been raised over the legality of this position, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.
Demands that the UK’s share of assets should not be included in calculations of the Brexit settlement were reportedly made at a seminar in February held by Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
According to minutes of the meeting seen by the newspaper, Nadia Calvino, the director-general in charge of the budget, argued against the idea.
She warned that Europe could not start ‘cherry-picking’ which parts of the annual accounts it wanted to base its calculations on.
In a separate legal memo seen by the newspaper, Mr Barnier’s team warned it would be ‘legally impossible’ to insist Britain keeps paying for farm subsidies after it leaves the EU in March 2019.
But they appear to have been overruled.
A source told the paper: ‘It was the clear view of the Commission that it would be legally impossible to defend the idea that the entire seven-year budget plan was a binding commitment on the UK, and that insisting the UK pay after Brexit would give them an excuse to walk.’
The revelations are a boot for the British government ministers, who have dismissed the huge bill.
Brexit Secretary David Davis has said: ”We will not be paying €100billion,’ he told ITV. ‘What we’ve got to do is discuss in detail what the rights and obligations are.’
He insisted the UK was under no legal obligation to pay anything – saying the bullying tactics from the EU underlined the PM’s view that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’
Relations between Britain and the EU have nose-dived after negative briefings against Mrs May from Brussels.
Aides to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused the PM of being ‘deluded’ and ‘in another galaxy’ after meeting her for talks in Downing Street.
It triggered a furious response from Mrs May who used a speech outside No 10 to warn that meddling Eurocrats were mounting a desperate bid to interfere in Britain’s General Election.
Source: Daily Mail Online