Britain is preparing to demand a substantial share of European Union assets worth more than €150 billion in the attempt to cut the cost of the Brexit divorce bill.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, is understood to be preparing a list of up to €60 billion of liabilities, including spending commitments signed off by Britain before the referendum that will be owed by the UK when it officially leaves in 2019.
However, officials in Whitehall are understood to be drawing up their own list of EU financial assets and the government thinks that it is entitled to a significant share.
Bruegel, an independent think tank in Brussels, made the first attempt to estimate the scale of these assets yesterday, placing them at €152.5 billion.
So they want us to cough up for agreed liabilities. OK, so let’s carve up the capital assets at the same time.