The precise make-up of the €60bn “Brexit invoice” will be revealed when the UK triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. One speculation is that the UK’s usual share of EU expenditure from 2014 to 2020 is included. This is because the UK agreed the EU’s seven year “Multiannual financial framework” (MFF) back in 2013. If this agreement is legally binding, then the UK would be obliged to contribute amounts similar to its current annual payments to the EU each year until the end of 2020, with lesser amounts due for several years after that. In this scenario, it might make financial sense for the UK to postpone its departure until the end of 2020, in order to continue to receive EU payments to its regions, farmers and researchers.
What happens if the UK and the EU disagree about these MFF payments? In public sessions in the UK parliament, lawyers are arguing which legal authority could decide. The conclusion - so far - is that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) would have jurisdiction on the interpretation of the relevant laws. However, since the UK will not be subject to these laws after leaving the EU, the ECJ could not enforce their implementation!
None of the discussions so far take into account the UK’s government’s proposed “Great Repeal Bill”, which will transfer much EU law into UK law when the UK leaves the EU. We look forward to many more hours of learned debate.