Britain has agreed to pay the EU an exit sum, to fund already approved infrastructure projects and pension provisions. However the Government insists the amount owed is lower, within the range of £35billion-£39billion.
The EU’s higher figure was revealed by the bloc’s annual accounts for 2020, first reported by Express.co.uk.
Next week the British Government is set to release its own figure, for how much it believes the UK owes.
The dispute is just the latest between the EU and UK since Brexit, with the two also clashing over Northern Ireland trade and fishing rights.
Express.co.uk readers argued Britain shouldn’t hand over money to Brussels unconditionally.
One wrote: “The EU must publish fully audited accounts before Boris pays a penny.
“They must prove and justify exactly what we owe them.
“Boris can leverage payments during which we penalise the EU for any fishing or border control conflicts.
“For example, Every time a boat loaded with illegal immigrants leaves France then it reduces our bill to Brussels by £1million.”
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This was a pre-condition for Brussels beginning talks with Britain about a future trading relationship.
The UK is due to continue making payments until around 2064.
Some Express.co.uk readers argued Britain is entitled to a share of the EU’s assets, having paid into the bloc for 47 years.
One asserted: “Personally I think we should claim a percentage of the EU’s assets! It works both ways!”
Another said: “How about they pay us the money we poured into projects like Galileo that they now refuse to let us have access to even though our scientists were heavily involved in its build, and the UK taxpayers paid huge sums towards it?”
Britain formally left the EU in January 2020, though it remained closely tied to the bloc until the end of December during the Brexit transition period.
During this time the UK continued to pay into the EU’s annual budget, and remained a member of the European single market.
This was replaced on December 31 by Boris Johnson’s new trade deal, which restored Britain as a fully independent trading nation.
However Northern Ireland remains tied to the European single market, with some customs checks on trade with other parts of the UK.
This has infuriated unionists, who argue it undermines their British identity and must be scrapped.