Senior officials and diplomats have announced that the European Commission is currently drawing up a schedule of Britain’s financial liabilities to the EU beyond 2020. It is expected that the European Commission will demand that the UK pays all of its financial commitments and liabilities in full as a precondition before any Brexit negotiations take place. Under its existing obligations to the EU, the UK’s contribution could total £50-60 billion over three years from the end of next year until Britain’s exit. It is expected that further demands from the European Commission will follow, such as continued supremacy for EU courts over crucial transitional arrangements that will bridge a deal to a future trade treaty between Britain and Europe. One source close to the European Commission said “there is a serious risk that the UK will just say this is impossible and the negotiations end before they even begin”. It is believed that Michel Barnier, the Commission’s negotiator is coming under increasing pressure from EU theologians close to Mr Junker to make Brexit as difficult as possible for the UK. Meanwhile, EU member states are keen to minimise the disruption caused by Brexit amongst growing concern that populist political parties across Europe have seen a recent surge of support. Ahead of the French elections next year, Marine Le Pen’s Front National are widely tipped to do very well and if victorious, could spell the end of the European Union in France and consequently across Europe.
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