Why does the UK have to pay the EU money to leave?
Throughout its membership of the EU, the UK had made financial commitments, alongside all other member states, to things like the EU budget, long-term investments and EU civil servant pensions that stretched well into the future. When the UK negotiated its exit from the EU, it agreed to honour the financial commitments it had made as a member state while ending any further commitments. In March 2018, the Office for Budget Responsibility initially estimated the cost of this financial settlement at £37 billion, with the majority paid in the first five years after leaving. As of March 2020, around £32 billion remained outstanding from the 2020/21 financial year onwards. It is estimated that some payments could stretch as far as 2064.