Prime Minister Theresa May is ready to significantly raise the amount that Britain is prepared to pay as part of the Brexit negotiations as a price for securing a transition deal with the European Union.
Officials and Ministers have informed the Financial Times that PM May has reconciled to settling a bill well above the €20 billion that she has already pledged.
The government believes that Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, who had previously demanded Britain to pay nothing at all to leave, are now ready to accept a huge payout, as long as Britain achieves a clean Brexit from the European Union.
“The money isn’t the problem,” said one senior minister. “The real problem is deciding what our end-state relationship with the EU will be.” Another government figure added: “The domestic political obstacles to a deal may not be as high as they once seemed.”
A Eurosceptic backbencher informed the paper that the tens of billions extra that were requested by the European Union was “money down the back of the sofa,” in order to receive the sort of Brexit that they want.
An acceptance of a huge Brexit bill would signify an important surrender by hardline Brexiteers in the Conservative party. In July, Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary said that the European Union could “go whistle” if they expected Britain to pay up.
“The sums they [the EU] propose seem to be extortionate, and I think to go whistle is an entirely appropriate expression,” Boris Johnson informed MPs.
However, the refusal of Britain to discuss its divorce bill has thrown the negotiations into a “deadlock” with the European Union refusing to continue negotiations onto the next phase regarding the future relationship of Britain with the European Union last month.
With business groups asking the government to secure a transition deal (at least in principle) by the start of 2018. Downing Street is under increasing pressure to modify its approach before the current past of discussion conclude in December.