The UK will leave a 20 billion euro hole in the European Union’s budget unless the bloc agrees to give Theresa May the sweeping Brexit trade deal she wants, according to senior British officials.
Britain won’t fulfill May’s offer to cover the U.K.’s share of the EU budget through 2020 without a broader Brexit deal, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. The U.K. also hasn’t accepted that it’s liable for a share of the pensions of EU staff, they said.
The comments from officials in May’s administration help clarify the premier’s intentions, which she laid out last month in a speech in Florence. In an attempt to unblock stalled talks, May said the U.K. would honor its financial obligations and keep paying into the EU budget. “I do not want our partners to fear that they will need to pay more or receive less over the remainder of the current budget plan as a result of our decision to leave,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Brexit Department said the financial settlement should be “in accordance with law and in the spirit of the U.K.’s continuing partnership with the EU.” [...]
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