Ian Payne is Leading Britain's Conversation.
3 May 2017, 20:13
It’s been reported that Britain could be made to pay up to €100bn (£84.5bn) to leave the EU, but Nigel Farage has crunched the numbers to show why this is “utterly ridiculous”.
On Wednesday, the Financial Times claimed the likely exit fee had dramatically increased by €40bn based on new data from across Europe.
But Nigel quoted EU law to point out why such amounts were, in his words, just Brussels trying to hold Britain to “ransom”.
Speaking on his LBC show, he said: “The European Union has what is called a Multiannual Financial Framework and it runs for a seven-year period.
“The current one ends at the end of 2020, but Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is clear that the treaties shall cease to apply to a nation leaving the European Union.
“So at worst, we could be considered to be expected to go on paying our bill until the end of 2020 - legally under the treaty we should stop paying anything at the end of March 2019.”
Nigel did concede there were obligations that Britain would need to pay for, such as pensions for MEPs and staff who work in the European Parliament.
However, he offered a solution: “We as a party have looked at what the total pension bill is, what the percentage of employees that are British are and we think there is an ongoing liability of somewhere between two and three billion pounds a year.
“I re-emphasise, two and three billion pounds a year and I would've thought what the British government would do is to take all those liabilities off the EU's books and add them to the British parliamentary and British civil servant scheme.”
Nigel finished: “So the idea that we should be effectively held to ransom for €100bn is beginning to look totally and utterly ridiculous.”