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Brexit Latest: Theresa May faces backlash over Brexit bill

The Conservative party are divided over whether the UK should pay the expensive Brexit bill to leave the EU.
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The UK Prime Minister faces tension from her party about whether or not Britain will pay the multi-million-pound divorce bill to leave the EU. The Tradefair team brings you the latest news from the US...

"I think £36 billion is much too much, we have no legal obligation to pay anything. Accepting the premise that you have to pay to leave the club is fundamentally wrong,"

-Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP.

The UK Prime Minister is facing criticism from her own party about the potential bill Britain will have to pay to withdraw from the EU.

Reports have suggested that Theresa May is willing to hand over the £36 billion (€40 billion) in order for the country to leave the single market.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister is prepared to pay this amount as long as the UK is able to negotiate a future trade deal between itself and the EU.


On-going negotiations

Top officials for the bloc have made it clear that they will only discuss the long-term trade situation between the single market and Britain once "sufficient progress" has been made on important matters that have been sticking points for both sides.

Issues such as what rights EU citizens living in the UK will retain after Brexit, what it will mean for the Irish border, and freedom of movement have all caused problems during negotiations.

Leading Conservatives who have supported the UK's separation from Europe have struggled to understand the need for such an expensive 'fine' for leaving the EU.

MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said: "I think £36 billion is much too much, we have no legal obligation to pay anything. Accepting the premise that you have to pay to leave the club is fundamentally wrong."

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also spoken out about the bill, saying the EU should "go whistle".


Meeting international responsibilities

Due to this tension from her own party, the Prime Minister has tried to placate the situation, with the government saying it will meet its "international responsibilities" but the UK will "not pay more than it needs to".

However, reports are now emerging that Theresa May might have made a u-turn on whether or not the UK will pay the bill.

They suggest that pressure from Conservative MPs, who warned the Prime Minister that motions to support the divorce bill would not make it through Parliament, has forced May to change her mind on the matter.

These reports of tension and division among the Tories come a matter of weeks after the snap General Election, which saw May lose her majority in government.


Impact on the markets

Now leaning on the controversial Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to push items through Parliament, the Prime Minister may be in a precarious position as she cannot afford to lose any support from her own MPs.

The matter of whether the UK will pay its divorce bill or not will continue to cause disruption in the markets, as investors wait for certainty on future trade agreements between the two significant economies.

With on-going tensions within the Conservative party as well, it may be that people are more hesitant to part with their money until something more definitive is decided.

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