Chancellor 'doesn't recognise' £50bn Brexit divorce bill demand

Philip Hammond "does not recognise" European Union demands for Britain to pay a Brexit "divorce bill" of up to 60 billion euros (£50bn) after Article 50 is triggered next week, a source close to the Chancellor has said.

The Prime Minister's letter officially notifying the European Council of the UK's intention to quit under Article 50 of the EU treaties will spark a two-year negotiation process
The Prime Minister's letter officially notifying the European Council of the UK's intention to quit under Article 50 of the EU treaties will spark a two-year negotiation process

It comes after the Times reported that Brexit-backing Cabinet ministers want Mr Hammond to cap any exit settlement at a maximum of £3 billion.

At the weekend t he Chancellor accused Brussels over "overstating" its position ahead of the negotiations, which will begin after Theresa May invokes Article 50 on March 29.

A source close to Mr Hammond drew attention to those comments, adding: "We don't recognise the 60 billion."

The issue of an exit bill will be one the early priorities in negotiations as some EU figures, including European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier, have suggested the UK must settle its outstanding liabilities before talks on a new relationship can begin.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has already publicly urged Mrs May to resist a large payment, while International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has dismissed the idea as "absurd".

Discussion of the divorce bill is likely to dominate the coming weeks after Mrs May confirmed her intention to initiate Britain's exit next week and then "negotiate hard" for a good deal.

The Prime Minister's letter officially notifying the European Council of the UK's intention to quit under Article 50 of the EU treaties will set in train a two-year negotiation process expected to lead to Britain leaving the EU on March 29 2019.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the move would initiate "the most important negotiation for this country for a generation", with the Government aiming to secure "a new, positive partnership between the UK and our friends and allies in the European Union".

But on Monday, sterling dipped on the news, giving up gains and slumping against the dollar to 1.23. The pound also dived against the euro, trading 0.1% down at 1.15.

European Council president Donald Tusk confirmed that he will present draft Brexit guidelines to the remaining 27 member states within 48 hours of notification.

The EU27 are then expected to stage an extraordinary summit within four to six weeks to agree a mandate for Mr Barnier, with talks probably beginning in earnest in May or June.

Mrs May is due to visit all four nations of the UK before triggering Article 50. She will address MPs in a statement to the House of Commons following her regular weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions on March 29.

She was cleared to take the step when the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act gained royal assent last week, after a Supreme Court ruling forced her to seek the approval of both Houses of Parliament.

Comments for: "Chancellor 'doesn't recognise' £50bn Brexit divorce bill demand"


There is so much wrong with this not least of which is it has already cost me and my country a fortune and it is only going to get worse. Can anybody give one good (true) reason 17 million of our citizens think this is a good idea (apart from deporting people). The banana myth and extra NHS funding have been debunked so they don't count.

Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

The Who

jim jams

Don't ever get married, if you can't face a bit of financial hardship. then.

"Billy rapped all night 'bout his suicide. How he kick it in the head when he was 25. Don't wanna stay alive. When you're 25. " David Bowie


Perhaps you should have sought a more cost-efficient model.

'I went home, late. Very late.

What could I say to my wife? "Darling, I've been beaten up again"?

Let's face it, she's credulous as hell.

A punk stopped me on the street. He said, "You got a light, mac?"

I said, "No, but I've got a dark brown overcoat."'

Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.


Thankfully we have a minister responsible of the calibre of David Davis who showed last week that he's completely in control and on top of his brief.

Some people are concerned we aren’t prepared for this Brexit situation, so it was heartening to hear Davis explain what happens if we don’t manage a deal with the EU, by saying he “hadn’t looked into it yet.”

This shows a steady hand, rather than someone who rushes into things by looking into stuff within the first nine months of a job specifically created to look into exactly that stuff. What’s achieved by panicking like that? Because Davis is only Minister for Brexit. How is he supposed to find out anything about Brexit, on top of all the other things in his title?

Nick, Telford

It's becoming more and more like a Hollywood soap opera. "I want 250 million dollars plus $5 million-a-month living expenses," Jean-Claude Juncker tells the divorce judge. His former partner replies that he's talking nonsense (as usual!) and that his ego is inflated by his boozing. The wrangling ritual carries until both parties announce a mutually acceptable agreement (usually a fraction of the first sum thought of) with a gag on any publicity. Sorted!!!

Cunning Linguist

The Chancellor 'doesn't recognise' the divorce bill - the same Chancellor who 'didn't recognise' that increasing NI contributions was against the government's election manifesto and had to suffer a humiliating screeching U-turn.


I have come to my own conclusion about Mrs May, the Chancellor, and the rest of 'em. I don't think any of them care about what happens in the aftermath of Brexit. They all just want to go down and be recorded in history as 'being there when it happened'. Mrs May can continue to buy her £995 pairs of leather trousers whatever happens. And the rest have got enough dosh to see them through whatever happens. Wish I could say the same!!!

Perhaps we ought to forewarn the Council Environment Department as I foresee quite a number of rats deserting the sinking ship after 'it' happens. Always supposing there are still Councils of course. One Welsh Council is already being deserted by several/quite a few rats.