Britain to offer more money in bid to further Brexit talks

In an effort to accelerate talks over a new trade deal with the EU, the UK cabinet has agreed that Britain will offer more money to the EU as Brexit talks continue.

It is believed that such an offer could be as high as £40 billion pounds – double the £20 billion that was offered by the Prime Minister Theresa May in Florence last September.

The European Parliament. Source: Flickr

This was decided yesterday in a meeting of the prime minister’s new Brexit-subcommittee, not long after the EU’s lead negotiator Michel Barnier stated that the EU would not concede over trading laws and regulations.

Whilst the negotiation teams of both the UK and the EU have been meeting each month since March, progress has been slow, with the ‘divorce bill’ proving to be a key point of disagreement for both sides. The EU has been reluctant to begin trade talks without receiving financial assurances by the UK.

One area that the UK Government has found challenging to manage is placating those Conservative MPs that feel offering and giving the EU more money would be undesirable. Some such as Nigel Evans MP feel that it would be like a ‘’ransom payment.’’

Talks on a future trade relationship with the UK will be held by EU leaders on the 14th and 15th of December. One key point that the EU has maintained throughout the negotiations is that the UK must uphold its financial commitments in any final withdrawal bill.

Even the £40 billion offer would still fall short of some estimates of the UK’s financial responsibilities to the EU over the course of its membership. The EU wants the UK to maintain its payments into the EU budget up to 2020, as well as covering its commitments to ongoing EU programs such as aid and pensions.

The UK has until this Friday to potentially increase that offer of £40 billion pounds, suggested Michel Barnier in talks earlier this month. It looks set to determine the success or not of the crunch European Council Summit due to take place in December.

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