Cost of Brexit divorce bill still unclear, says NAO

Brexit guidance

The National Audit Office (NAO) has stated that the final cost of the UK’s Brexit divorce bill remains ‘uncertain’.

There are many factors that need to be considered when analysing the cost of leaving the EU, the NAO stated, and the estimate of between £35 billion and £39 billion put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May in December 2017 could rise.

The NAO said that an increase in inflation, alterations to the exchange rate or changes to the UK’s economic performance could cause the final figure to rise.

Commenting on the matter, Amyas Morse, Head of the NAO, said: ‘We have reviewed the Treasury’s estimate of how much the UK will pay the EU under the draft withdrawal agreement. The estimate reflects a number of moving parts, so the range of costs in it could have been wider than £35 billion to £39 billion.’

The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and a transitional period is expected to last until 31 December 2020. The UK has agreed to continue to fulfil its current financial commitments following Brexit, while benefitting from most of the current trade arrangements.