Brussels Eurocrats have explained the basis on which they say the UK should pay a Brexit divorce settlement, and it includes payments such as the huge annual pension that they are currently forced to pay to former Labour leader Lord Kinnock (pictured above). His wife Glenys and former commissioners Peter Mandelson and Chris Patten also get the annual cash bonus.
Britain has in theory signed up to the current Budget up to 2020.Until then, the UK is supposed pay £11billion a year once Margaret Thatcher’s rebate and payments to projects here are accounted for.
But the EU also claims Britain is on the hook for pensions liabilities for former MEPs and Commission and Parliamentary officials.
These include failed Labour leader Lord Kinnock who became a European Commissioner, his wife Baroness Glenys Kinnock who was an MEP and fellow former commissioners Lords Mandelson and Patten.
What’s more, the EU is also seeking cash to underpin liabilities it created including £45billion of loans to prop up Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Portugal.The EU also claims that Britain has played a part in underpinning longer-term projects which go beyond the current budget period.
In addition, the EU wants the UK to help “cover costs of the withdrawal process” including paying to move two EU agencies to another country.
This is despite the staff at the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency wanting to stay in Britain and the country which gets them receiving a small economic boost for having the agencies based there.
Most of all, the EU fears losing its second-biggest contributor.
The EU budget has not been signed off by its auditors since the Court of Auditors started giving an opinion in 1995.
To help cover the costs of losing the UK, some of the countries have come up with an inflated Brexit bill of almost £78billion.However, weighed against the EU’s demands are more than £200billion of contributions by the UK in the past four decades.The UK is, arguably, entitled to a share of the EU’s assets which were valued at £154billion in 2015.
This includes £37billion cash, £7.85billion in property and almost £10billion in other assets.Based on the UK’s net contribution, it could be entitled to up to a 30 per cent share in the assets, although the EU disputes that Britain has any claim to them.Among the assets held by the EU are wine in cellars in Brussels.
In 2012, a question in the European Parliament revealed that the European Commission had 15,500 bottles stored with a value of approximately £220,000.
In 2012 the Council of Ministers was understood to have more than 27,000 bottles in its own cellar.The EU also has an art collection worth more than £8billion of which Britain believes it is entitled to a share or should receive money as compensation.Among the European Union buildings of which Britain is also entitled to a part is the massive Europe House in Smith Square, Westminster.
The EU Commission bought this property for £26million and before that it had been the headquarters of the Conservative Party.