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09:49, 21 May 2018 Monday
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UK prepared to pay 40bn-euro Brexit bill: report
UK prepared to pay 40bn-euro Brexit bill: report

It is the first time the British side has put a figure even unofficially on the so-called divorce bill, one of the biggest sticking points in the Brexit negotiations.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Britain is prepared to pay up to 40 billion euros to the European Union to settle its accounts when it leaves the bloc, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

However, it falls well short of the 100-billion-euro ($118 billion) sum discussed in Brussels.

The newspaper report, based on unnamed government sources, said Britain would pay this only if the EU agrees to negotiate the financial settlement as part of a future trade deal.

Brussels has said progress must be made on the divorce bill, as well as the rights of European citizens living in Britain and the Irish border issue, before any talks can start on a free trade agreement.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that the trade negotiations, which Britain hopes will start in October, may be pushed back to December because Britain is stalling on the bill, diplomats said last month.

British officials are looking at proposing a transition deal where Britain would continue to make net payments to the EU of 10 billion euros a year for up to three years after it leaves in March 2019, the Telegraph said.

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