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I have just seen on TV a few highlights from a heated debate on the divorce bill involved by Brexit. According to this source:

European leaders have warned the UK that it will face a divorce bill of up to £50billion for outstanding commitments and pension liabilities.

While [some] officials

believe that the UK is entitled of £9billion worth of funds currently held by the European Investment Bank.

and

separate analysis has suggested that the UK is entitled to a further £14billion worth of EU assets including property, cash and other investments. considers that

"We have put into the place half a trillion pounds over the past 40 years which has never come back. That's invested in all sorts of stuff there.

"We have intellectual property rights, physical investment in buildings, money in the European investment bank. We own a chunk of the EU, we don't owe them any money.

According to this question and its accepted answer, things seem pretty clear.

Question: why are there so many opinions regarding financial dimension?

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    Politics. The notion that the UK (or any other member) should receive exactly as much as it paid over the course of its membership or that structural funds supporting investments in poorer EU member states means the UK (and other net contributors) owns whatever was funded is just silly IMO but it's not hard to see how you can make semi-plausible claims along those lines and why those who tried to sell Brexit as painless to the public need to find something – anything – to counter the EU's own admittedly rather self-serving claims. – Relaxed Apr 5 '17 at 21:33
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    Your average married couple could easily spend several weeks in deciding who gets what, settling on alimony, child visitation rights, etc. Now multiply that by 5 orders of magnitude... – JonathanReez May 11 '17 at 8:41
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Actually no, things aren't that clear.

My answer there is only a predicted breakdown, however there's still quite a lot of uncertainty in actual case.

As seen from the document I quoted, some aspects are unclear of whether the United Kingdom has the legal obligation to pay the European Union after their exit.


One such example is the pension promises to EU officials. The UK is now saying that they only need pay EU officials who are also UK citizens which will cost the UK €80 million. However, the EU mentioned that they have to pay all EU officials, regardless of their nationality. This would increase the cost a lot.

This costs the UK €63.8 billion and is retirement benefits for EU officials. The UK would have to pay all UK nationals working within the EU institutions which would cost €80 million this year.

However, the EU Commission wants the UK to pay pensions for all EU officials, not just British nationals, since they all worked for the EU when the UK was a member. According to the EU consolidated accounts, it will cost up to a full €63.8 billion.


There are also other aspects, such as projects that are already signed and whether the UK needs to pay their share after they have already left the EU.

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In addition to Panda's answer, another area where liabilities are not clear are assets. The EU owns many buildings and other assets, some of which are in the UK. The UK has some stake in them and their value needs to be calculated and their fate decided.

This is further complicated by the uncertain future many of the face. The EU is likely to move institutions out of the UK, such as banking and currency regulation, but final decisions have not been made yet.

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