According to a cross party committee of peers Britain is not under any legal obligation to pay any money to the European Union after Brexit.
The Committee reported: “While the legal advice we have received differed, the stronger argument suggests that the UK will not be strictly obliged, as a matter of law, to render any payments at all after leaving.”
It added that Article 50 “allows the UK to leave the EU without being liable for outstanding financial obligations under the EU budget, unless a withdrawal agreement is concluded which resolves this issue”.
“EU Member States may seek to bring a case against the UK for the payments of outstanding debts under principles of public international law, such as acquired rights, but international law is slow to litigate and hard to enforce.”
The European Commission has threatened to force the UK to make payments worth £50billion over four years after leaving as part of a “hefty” exit bill.
But House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee said in a report published today that “under international law the UK will not be legally obliged to contribute to the EU budget if an agreement is not reached at the end of Article 50 negotiations”.
The report is a boost for Theresa May, the Prime Minister, who has been criticised for saying that she is prepared to walk away from the EU with no trade deal if talks did not progress satisfactorily.
Posted by David Pilkington
Extract from www.dailytelegraph.co.uk