UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap election to consolidate her grip on power by increasing her working majority on the House of Commons from 17 — as it is now — to potentially more than 50 following a collapse in support for the main opposition Labour Party and the anti-EU party UKIP.
Sputnik understands from an EU source that the costs of negotiating Brexit will be borne by the United Kingdom, including the hire of facilities for the talks, meals and other subsistence allowances.
Britain voted in a referendum, June 23, 2016, to leave the European Union, marking a significant turning point in the European Union, being the first country to exit the bloc. The terms of the negotiations were framed by the EU in a paper published, March 29.
Happy Europe Day! On 9 May 1950 Robert Schuman presented the declaration which proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community. pic.twitter.com/FvD9Xfuypg— EPP Group (@EPPGroup) 8 May 2017
Under the terms of the guidelines, "the United Kingdom's decision to leave the Union creates significant uncertainties that have the potential to cause disruption, in particular in the United Kingdom but also, to a lesser extent, in other Member States," which will incur costs to the union.
"Until it leaves the Union, the United Kingdom remains a full Member of the European Union, subject to all rights and obligations set out in the Treaties and under EU law, including the principle of sincere cooperation," the guidelines state.
The EU's chief negotiator, former Commissioner and French foreign affairs minister French Michel Barnier, has made clear that the Brexit talks will be "firm" and "transparent."
"Some in the UK have tried to blame Member States for the continued uncertainty that citizens have been confronted with for ten months now. That is wrong. The only cause of uncertainty is Brexit," he said in a speech to the State of the Union summit, May 5.
The EU has stated that the UK must pay a "divorce" fee for exiting the EU — believed to be in the region of US$62 billion, based on commitments to future EU funding arrangements.
"We have to calculate scientifically what the British commitments were and then the bill has to be paid," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters. Asked if the bill would amount to US$62 billion, he replied: "It's around that."