German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pointed out Great Britain has legal obligation to settle its due to the European Union to cover exit fees from the bloc. Merkel insisted that referring to the costs resulting from Britain’s exit from the EU, also known as Brexit, as a “fine” is “misleading” Brexit.
“This is about obligations that Great Britain has entered into, and that naturally must remain on the books,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast published Saturday, Bloomberg reported.
Merkel’s remarks come ahead of a scheduled third round of Brexit negotiations next week. EU officials have been complaining that the British side has been weaseling out of its obligations, failing to address three key points in previous Brexit talks.
The three main points highlighted by Brussels negotiators include: EU citizen rights, Northern Ireland’s border and the divorce bill. The second round of talks at the EU headquarters had ended with “fundamental” differences remaining.
After that round, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told Great Britain that it needed to clarify its position on key issues if there was to be sufficient progress in the Brexit negotiations.
London was advised to address the remaining issues and come forward with a methodology they think suites the divorce calculations. Brussels says London has declined to address the issues so far.
Britain’s divorce bill is estimated at up to 100 billion euros in Brussels, but much less at 40 billion euros according to reports in London.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that London does not “recognize” the 100 billion sterling pound or euro figure suggested by Brussels.
However, he said that “we should pay not a penny more, not a penny less, of what we think our legal obligations amount to.”