Government’s estimate of withdrawal payment is "shrouded in uncertainty"

20 April 2018

In response to a request from the Treasury Committee, the National Audit Office (NAO) has today published a report which examines the reasonableness of the Government’s estimate that the UK’s withdrawal payment to the EU will be between £35 billion and £39 billion.

The NAO 'found the estimate to be reasonable', but 'relatively small changes to some of [the] assumptions would cause HM Treasury’s central estimate to be outside its £35 billion to £39 billion range.'

Chair's commments

Commenting on the publication, Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said:

"In December, the Treasury Committee asked the NAO to examine the reasonableness of the Brexit withdrawal payment. The NAO has today published this assessment.

It has judged that the Government’s estimate of the UK’s withdrawal payment to the EU is ‘reasonable’, but it appears to be shrouded in uncertainty.

As the report states, the Treasury didn’t incorporate some of the main uncertainties—of which it was aware—in its figure. For example, the settlement estimate doesn’t include the UK’s commitments to the European Development Fund, which the Treasury expects will cost £2.9 billion after the UK leaves the EU.”

We will examine these issues further when we take evidence from Sir Amyas Morse on Tuesday 24 April, and from the Chancellor the following day."

Further information

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