Why does the UK have to pay the EU money to leave?

Because financial liabilities and commitments have built up during the UK’s membership of the EU, the UK has had to agree a methodology for calculating the cost of these liabilities as one of the three key issues to be resolved before the EU would allow for the Article 50 negotiations to move on to the second phase.

In her Florence speech, Theresa May accepted that  “The UK will honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership.” A House of Lords report concluded that legally the UK was not liable for outstanding financial obligations, but in order to maintain goodwill in the negotiations and secure a favourable trade deal the UK’s commitment to pay was a political necessity.

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