Divorce bill won't be agreed until end of Brexit talks

 
Catherine Neilan
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The so-called divorce bill that Britain must pay before it can leave the European Union will not be agreed until towards the deadline for Brexit negotiations.

The financial settlement - which was one of four focuses for the talks taking place in Brussels this week - has been put on ice until towards the end of March 2019, PA reports.

However, “sufficient progress” must be made on how it will be calculated in order for talks to advance to a future trade deal.

Estimates have put the settlement, which will cover pre-agreed payments for the ongoing budget, loans to other EU countries and a number of other costs, could be as much as £100bn.

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson recently put the cat among the pigeons by saying the EU could "go whistle" for its "extortionate" bill.

However, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier retorted that he heard no whistling, only the sound of a clock ticking. No deal would be reached before agreeing a settlement, he added.

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