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Eurocrats will use the threat of legal action to ensure Britain continues to hand over the vast fee that was negotiated as part of Theresa May’s doomed Brexit deal. The plans, which will infuriate Brexiteers, have been worked up in Brussels to ensure the political project’s budget isn’t wrecked by a no-deal divorce. A senior EU official revealed the proposals as part the the Commission’s final no-deal contingency announcement.
The powerful Brussels executive insisted that “all commitments taken by the 28 member states should be honoured by the 28 member states”.
A statement added: “This is also true in a no-deal scenario, where the UK would be expected to continue to honour all commitments made during EU membership.”
Brexiteers have hoped that the threat of Brussels losing on the billions of pounds would be enough to force a last-minute EU compromise.
But a senior Commission official denounced the intimidation attempts and rebuked any concerns.
Brexit news: EU will demand divorce bill from Britain even in no-deal
They said: “The financial obligations would need to be dealt with.
“We want to avoid very disruptive and sudden consequences which would be difficult to handle.”
“If you want to stay friends you don’t go to court,” the source added.
In the withdrawal agreement, which is deeply opposed in Westminster, Britain agreed to pay a financial settlement to Brussels that includes EU budget payment up to 2020, covers its liabilities and unlocks talks for on a future relationship.
But the £39billion fee would be scrapped in a no-deal scenario, which would lead Brussels to pressure Britain to agree to hand over the cash anyway by April 18, 2019.
The EU openly admits the extra funds would help soften the impact of no-deal in areas such as agriculture and research funding.
The Commission maintains that it’s no-deal plans “cannot replicate the withdrawal agreement”, is “unilateral” and is aimed at mitigating the “most disruptive effect on EU27 stakeholders”.
Last year, Dominic Raab, a former Brexit secretary, said: “The Government would not pay the terms of the financial settlement, as agreed with the EU as part of the withdrawal deal.”
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