3, December 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing growing pressure from within her own Conservative Party to reveal the true cost of leaving the European Union and settling the Brexit “divorce bill.”
Conservatives lawmakers in Parliament, as well as former cabinet ministers, say the time has come for the premier to be completely open on how much Brexit will cost.
Labour, Britain’s main opposition party, has threatened to get conservatives onboard for a plan that gives parliament a vote on the matter.
The so-called EU divorce bill, or Brexit financial settlement, is the sum of money demanded by the EU from the UK as it leaves the bloc.
Britain and the EU have agreed on a divorce bill that is likely to be between $54 billion to $67 billion.
May is set to travel to Brussels on Monday to hammer out an agreement on the terms of the withdrawal.
If May’s offer on critical withdrawal issues fails to make “significant progress,” EU leaders will refuse at their next summit on December 14 to unlock the next phase of the Brexit negotiations about a future trade deal and a transitional arrangement after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.
The EU insists that Britain must resolve critical withdrawal issues, including a multibillion-euro divorce bill, EU citizens’ rights and the Irish border, before there can be any talks on future relations.
EU member states have become increasingly frustrated with Britain’s reluctance to compromise, and are also worried that May’s fragile Conservative government is unable to do so even if it wanted to.