The European Union is demanding billions of GB Pounds after Brexit to cover on-going projects: these include development progammes in Africa, long-term loans to Ukraine and numerous environmental projects across Europe. The on-going Brexit talks this week have become increasingly more difficult, with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, announcing yesterday that Britain’s refusal to honour long-term spending commitments made before the referendum was damaging trust between the two sides – “We have jointly committed to support innovative enterprises and green infrastructure in European regions until 2020. These are not recognised by the UK as legal obligations. With such uncertainty, how can we build trust and start discussing a future relationship? We need to address together these issues seriously and rigorously”. David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, has accused Brussels of creating obligations which have no legal basis and therefore any future commitments would need to be assessed stating “we have a duty to our taxpayers to interrogate it rigorously. It’s fair to say across the piece we have a very different legal stance but . . . the settlement should be in accordance with EU law and in the spirit of the UK’s continuing partnership with the EU.” However, the two sides were able to agree on one issue: a million British expats in the EU would continue to have free healthcare including using a European health insurance card in all remaining 27 member states (although the UK government had hoped this scheme would continue to apply to all British nationals). An October deadline had been set originally for ”sufficient progress” on the withdrawal talks, but this now not expected to be met.
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