— Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews) 20 mei 2017
UK Prime Minister May said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that “money paid in the past” by the UK must be taken into account in the final Brexit divorce bill. More specific, she implied that Brussels must pay its own Brexit bill of billions of pounds for Britain’s share of the European Investment Bank and other joint projects.
The remarks made by May did not come as a surprise. Last month, the EU raised its opening demand for Britain’s Brexit bill to an upfront gross payment of up to €100bn (instead of the €60bn before that), which they already confirmed they would not pay. Back then, UK Brexit Secretary David Davis commented on the ludicrous numbers by stating:
“It’s gone from €50 billion to €60 billion to €100 billion (…) I know that’s not where we’ll end up.”
But May still demonstrates a more nuanced approach than Brussels did. May insists that the UK has financial “rights” that must be respected during discussions about payments as well as “obligations” to the body it is leaving. Pushed on what areas the UK may be “owed a proportion” of when it leaves, May said:
“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.”
This is the first time May publicly spoke about wanting to keep a part of the European Investment Bank. The UK owns approximately 16 percent, which equals to around €10 billion. EU officials expect Brexit negotiations to begin on June 18th, merely 10 days after the result of the upcoming general election is announced.