Brexit news: Boris Johnson refuses to say how much the UK will pay Brussels | Politics | New
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And Jayne Adye stressed that clarity was vital given the bloc’s track record of using ‘every loophole’ to leverage Britain – warning that Brussels was determined to ‘bleed our bank account. dried up”. Ms Adye, director of the Get Britain Out campaign, was motivated to act by a joint statement released by the UK and the EU on April 27 following a meeting of the Special Committee on Financial Arrangements. The two parties “noted a positive engagement on the second set of formal reports under the withdrawal agreement which was provided by the European Commission at the end of March,” the statement said.
However, the numbers were noticeably absent, so Ms Adye had submitted an access to information request asking what was in the package.
The response, from HM Treasury and dated May 26, states: “You have requested to receive the EU declaration dossier documents in the UK.
“We consider that the information engages the exemption of article 27 (1) (b) where the disclosure would be likely to harm the relations between the United Kingdom and any international organization.
“This is a qualified exemption and we are required to balance the public interest between disclosure and non-disclosure.
Boris Johnson’s government declined to say how much the UK will pay Ursula von der Leyen’s EU
Theresa May, Mr Johnson’s predecessor as Prime Minister
He adds: ‘While we accept that there is a general public interest in transparency to improve public understanding of government, we believe that disclosure of information which could harm relations between the UK and the United Kingdom. European Union and to have an impact on the protected area in which frank discussions take place would not be in the public interest.
Ms Adye said: “Almost every week we hear new reports of changes in the amount of money the UK will be required to pay to the EU.
“Yet the government hides behind the protocol when asked to tell the public how it will spend our money!”
Some elements contained inside would inevitably be sensitive, she acknowledged – but asked why they couldn’t be redacted, rather than the entire document being withheld.
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Brexit negotiators Lord David Frost and Michel Barnier in Brussels
Ms Adye added: ‘The British public deserve to know what is being traded on our behalf, especially when it comes to billions of pounds, at a time when the country is in debt and trying to get out of a crisis. economic.
“Anyone who claims that we have a working relationship with the EU clearly hasn’t paid attention to this as they are continually trying to undermine the UK every moment.
“So to use that as an excuse, it just doesn’t come close to the weight.
She warned: “If these documents are not made public, there is growing concern among Brexiteers about the hidden costs that will come back to eat away at us in the future.
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An excerpt from HM Treasury’s FOI response
“The EU has shown that it will use every loophole or every possible advantage to leverage the UK and not think about bleeding our bank account dry.
“It is time for these and all of our relations with the EU to be clearer and more controlled, because we simply cannot continue on the current path of uncertainty and doubt.
“These negotiations are taking place on our behalf and the British public deserves to know what is going on.”
How much the UK will pay the EU after Brexit has been the subject of much debate.
The figure of £ 39 billion – the so-called ‘divorce bill’ – was frequently cited in the wake of the 2016 referendum.
However, it remains unclear whether there are any outstanding financial commitments.
An investigation last week by pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU asked why the value of the EU staff pension fund had soared by almost £ 15bn in the last year of membership to the EU.
Moreover, the Facts4EU report pointed out that there was no fixed amount in the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May in terms of the total amount the UK is owed.
Mapping of factions in the EU budget
The notice issued by the House of Commons Library Research Service states: “There is no final cost for the settlement.
“The final cost to the UK will depend on future events such as future exchange rates and EU budgets.
“The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates the net cost to the UK could be as high as £ 34 billion.”
Express.co.uk has contacted HM Treasury for comment.