- Article 50 TEU allows the UK to leave the EU without being liable for outstanding financial obligations under the EU budget and related financial instruments, unless a withdrawal agreement is concluded which resolves this issue.(para. 135).
- The jurisdiction of the CJEU over the UK would also come to an end when the EU Treaties ceased to have effect. Outstanding payments could not, therefore, be enforced against the UK in the CJEU. (para. 133).
The UK government appears to have adopted a similar position on the Brexit bill as the House of Lords. The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an account of a ‘disastrous Brexit dinner’ at the end of April 2017 between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in which PM May reportedly argued that the UK does not owe anything to the EU upon its departure. The fact that this dinner conversation was leaked led to strong criticism, particularly in the UK as the campaign for the general election in June is currently underway (see for example here and here).
On 3 May 2017, the UK’s Brexit Secretary David Davis in a TV interview emphasized that he had not seen any official figure of the EU’s demands, and left open room for compromise:
[The UK] have said we will meet our international obligations, but there will be our international obligations including assets and liabilities and there will be the ones that are correct in law, not just the ones the Commission want.
However, he indicated that the UK would not pay €100 billion upon leaving the EU.
The Commission’s draft negotiating directives for Article 50 negotiations with the UK, published later on the same day, emphasize the need for a ‘single financial settlement’ of the UK’s financial obligations as a member ‘in full’ – referring to it as a ‘settling of accounts’, rather than ‘punishment’. In February, the EU Commission claimed that the UK owes the EU around €60 billion as a result of its EU membership since 1973 Read the rest of this entry…