British government to cease paying EU budget contribution after Brexit
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    British government to cease paying EU budget contribution after Brexit

    The British Prime Minister, Theresa May warned her European counterparts that Britain will not continue to pay out “large amounts of money” for the EU budget post-Brexit. She reiterated Britain’s wish to start divorce proceedings by triggering Article 50 by the end of the month.

    During her last EU Brussels summit before the deadline that she has specified for starting divorce proceedings (by March 31st), Mrs May confirmed that she wishes to “move forward with leaving the European Union.”

    This is provided she has the approval of other heads of state and government, who were also assembled in Brussels.

    Their discussions on the future of Europe continue today, without Britain at the table.

    The Europeans are likely to demand that Britain pays an “exit bill” upon leaving the EU. This may be up to 60 billion euros, according to several European sources. This total amount corresponds to the British government’s current commitments in terms of its contribution to the EU budget.

    Theresa May warned during a press conference, “It is clear that when the British electorate voted on June 23rd, 2016, for us to leave the European Union, they also voted not to pay subsequent annual payments of large sums of money to the EU.”

    She insisted, “And of course, when we leave the European Union, their wish in this regard will indeed be respected.”

    In London, the bill intended to authorise Mrs May’s Conservative government to start the Brexit process will go before British MPs from this Monday.

    The examination (known as ping pong on account of the bill travelling between the House of Commons and the House of Lords) may be extended through to Tuesday and Wednesday. The end result will be the final adoption of the bill as part of the process.

    This means that the British government will then be in a position to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, with effect from next week. This will kick-start the divorce proceedings with the European Union.

    The Prime Minister explained, “Our European partners have made it clear to me that they too wish to move forward with negotiations (for leaving the EU), and I do as well.”

    Mrs May argued, “It is high time that we got on with the business of leaving the EU and building an autonomous and independent Great Britain, as the British people have demanded.” She confirmed that she would invoke Article 50 “before the end of the month.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times