Brussels must pay its own Brexit bill of billions of pounds for Britain’s share of the European Investment Bank and other joint projects, Theresa May has indicated.
The Prime Minister says in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that “money paid in the past” by the UK must be taken into account in the final divorce bill.
She insisted that the UK has financial “rights” that must be respected during discussions about payments as well as “obligations” to the body it is leaving.
The intervention is a clear rejection of hardline EU countries who have argued that the UK should not get back its proportion of EU assets.
Reports from Brussels have claimed Brexit negotiators want anything between €60 and €100 when the UK leaves to cover EU payments already agreed.
However Mrs May pushed back on the amounts that “some of the figures the EU” have been pushing for the so-called Brexit bill.
Mrs May said: “There is much debate about what the UK’s obligations might be or indeed what our rights might be in terms of money being paid in in the past. We make it clear that we would look at those both rights and obligations.”
Pushed on what areas Britain may be “owed a proportion” of when it leaves, Mrs May added: “There’s the investment bank, there’s the investment fund, there are various areas. This will be, as you know, an important part of the negotiations.”
The comment is the first time the Prime Minister has indicated publicly she wants to keep a share of the European Investment Bank. Government sources said the UK’s share of the bank has been estimated at 16 per cent – which equals to around €10bn.