Working paper

Divorce settlement or leaving the club? A breakdown of the Brexit bill

To bring transparency to the debate on the Brexit bill and to foster a quick agreement, the authors of this Working Paper make a comprehensive attempt

Publishing date
29 March 2017

The ‘Brexit bill’ is an expected payment to be made by the United Kingdom that would settle its financial commitments when it leaves the European Union.

While authors of this Working Paper consider the financial settlement the least important economic issue in the Brexit negotiations, a conditional agreement at least on the methodology for calculating the Brexit bill could be a prerequisite for the more meaningful discussions on the new EU-UK economic relationship after Brexit, such as future trade, financial services and labour mobility cooperation.

To bring transparency to the debate and to foster a quick agreement on the bill, the authors make a comprehensive attempt to quantify the various assets and liabilities that might be factors in the financial settlement.

The size of the Brexit bill will depend on fundamental political compromises and choices, which is discussed. Based on the different scenarios, the long-run net Brexit bill could range from €25.4 billion to €65.1 billion, possibly with a large upfront UK payment followed by significant EU reimbursements later.

About the authors

  • Zsolt Darvas

    Zsolt Darvas, a Hungarian citizen, joined Bruegel as a Visiting Fellow in September 2008 and continued his work at Bruegel as a Research Fellow from January 2009, before being appointed Senior Fellow from September 2013. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Corvinus University of Budapest.

    From 2005 to 2008, he was the Research Advisor of the Argenta Financial Research Group in Budapest. Before that, he worked at the research unit of the Central Bank of Hungary (1994-2005) where he served as Deputy Head.

    Zsolt holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Corvinus University of Budapest where he teaches courses in Econometrics but also at other institutions since 1994. His research interests include macroeconomics, international economics, central banking and time series analysis.

  • Konstantinos Efstathiou

    Konstantinos, a Greek citizen, works in Bruegel as an Affiliate Fellow in the Macroeconomics and Governance area. Before joining Bruegel, Konstantinos was at the European Commission, as a Blue Book Trainee in the Cabinet of President Juncker. He also interned at the Central Bank of Luxembourg (BCL) as a research assistant, involved in projects related to the Wage Dynamics Network (WDN) research group.

    He holds a Master in International Economics and International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he specialized in Quantitative Methods and European Studies.

    Konstantinos’ research interests include macroeconomics, European economic governance and international economics.

    Konstantinos is a native speaker of Greek, speaks fluent English and has good knowledge of French.

    Declaration of interests 2017

    Declaration of interests 2018

  • Inês Goncalves Raposo

    Inês Gonçalves Raposo is an Affiliate Fellow at Bruegel in the areas of European macroeconomics, governance, finance and financial regulation. Previously she worked for the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Portugal. Inês holds a MSc in economics from Nova SBE with a major in Macroeconomics and Financial Markets and a BA in applied mathematics from the University of Lisbon.

    Her research interests include political economy, monetary and fiscal policy and applied macroeconomics. She is a native Portuguese speaker and is fluent in English and French.

    Declaration of interests 2018

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