Boris Johnson said at the weekend that if we left the EU without a deal, we would not have to “strictly say” to pay the EU $39 billion. The $39 billion divorce bill is the figure that Westminster and Brussels arrived at to cover the unpaid budget contributions we forced to pay in 2013 and would have paid in 2019 and 2020 if we had not left the EU. There are also certain commitments (such as pension contributions) that go beyond 2020 and are settled in the divorce bill. The United Kingdom would continue to benefit from all programmes, as it did before the withdrawal, provided it complied with current EU legislation.  “If we go out without an agreement, it is certainly true that the $39 billion is no longer strictly due.” The latest estimate of the amount of the UK`s “divorce bill” after leaving the EU is $33 billion (36 billion euros). This was the assumption that the United Kingdom had left the EU on 31 October 2019. He said: “Given that Britain has already paid some $210 billion to the EU, they should pay us, not us. That is probably what Mr. Johnson is referring to when he says “strictly” that the divorce law would no longer be due if we left without agreement.
The withdrawal agreement, which specifies the UK`s payment obligation, will not be binding in this scenario. In November 2018, UK government and EUROPEAN negotiators agreed to withdraw the UK from the EU (draft withdrawal agreement), which confirmed that the UK and the EU had agreed that the UK would meet its commitments to the EU through a financial settlement. As with many EU-related issues, the current complexity is due to something that happened years ago. In 2017, the EU asked that we first agree on a “divorce treaty” before we started talking about the trade deal. Brexit Prime Minister David Davis felt a trap and decided to hold both talks at the same time and said the “sequencing” of the talks would be “the series of the summer” with the EU. Theresa May rejected it and accepted that the UK would pay what the EU said about us (which eventually reached $39 billion, worked on a formula that no one could explain or defend himself in Whitehall) before we got some sort of trade deal.