BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain will have to pay up when it leaves the European Union because “when you sign on for a contract you commit yourself to participation”, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Thursday.
Asked by reporters whether Britain will have to pay tens of billions of euros to quit the European Union, Kenny said the amount Britain owed had yet to be determined and both sides would hammer out the final cost.
“But that, no more than any other problem, will have to be faced, it will have to be dealt with and it will be dealt with,” Kenny said on the first day of an EU summit in Brussels.
Money is shaping up to be one of the most contentious parts of the upcoming divorce talks. Other EU nations want Britain to pay its share of budget commitments -- estimated informally by EU officials at around 60 billion euros (52.3 billion pounds).
Last week, a committee of members of Britain’s upper house of parliament said if Britain left the European Union without agreeing an exit deal it would not be legally obliged to contribute to the bloc’s budget post-Brexit.
($1 = 0.9449 euros)
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper