Britain's bill for exiting the European Union will be "calculated scientifically", a top continental bureaucrat has said.
Prime Minister Theresa May will kick-off Brexit negotiations when she triggers Article 50 next week. A key focus of the discussions will be how much the UK should put towards EU infrastructure projects, which it has committed to, but has not yet paid for. The UK also shares in the pension liabilities of EU staff.
Reports have claimed the UK could be on the hook for as much as €60bn. However, Jean Claude Junker, president of the European Commission, has said the bloc will not be metering out any punishment on the UK when it decides on a figure.
Speaking to the BBC, Juncker said:
There will be no sanctions, no punishment. Nothing of that kind. But Britain has to know - and I suppose the government does know it - we have to calculate scientifically what the British commitments were and then the bill has to be paid.
Juncker's assurances come after key EU negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, said that Britons should be able to keep their EU benefits, such as freedom of movement, if they want them.
Many UK citizens devastated their European identity is being taken away. I will fight for their voices to be heard https://t.co/xdKBPRiWzj— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) March 10, 2017