If we go into the backstop, will the UK be making any financial contributions to the EU for that period?

5 December 2018

We’ve had help answering this question from our friends at the Institute for Government.

The Institute for Government told us that the UK will not have to make any payments to the EU relating to the backstop.

If the withdrawal agreement is passed by parliament then the UK would pay a divorce bill to the EU. Payments for this will continue until 2064 (although the majority of it will have been paid by 2021). If there is no deal by the end of the transition period in 2020 then the backstop would come into effect while the divorce bill was still being paid off—but that’s not the same as paying more because the backstop has happened.

Before the backstop kicks in though, it’s also possible under the terms of the withdrawal agreement to extend the transition period. If this happens the UK would go on making some contributions to the EU budget. The size of those contributions would have to be negotiated if the UK requested a transition extension.

This article is part of our Ask Full Fact series on Brexit, answering your questions about Brexit and the latest negotiations between the UK and the EU.

You can see all the questions we’ve answered so far here. If you want to ask us your own question, do that here.

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