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Getting our share of those EU assets

CIPFA is backing the UK government’s ‘interest’ in claiming a share of EU assets when Article 50 is triggered.


April 2017

While the EU will request that the UK meets a fair share of the liabilities accrued since 1973, CIPFA believes that the UK derives material and significant compensation as a major net funder for assets accrued over the same period.
Referring to €150bn shown on the EU’s balance sheet, CIPFA CEO Rob Whiteman said: “The EC’s financial position is clear in that it uses a full accrual accounting based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards that are in line with international good financial reporting practice. This replicates the UK government’s own practice, though sadly not all individual EU member states have robust accounting and reporting practices for their own government finances.”
He points out that the EU’s annual balance sheet has been through an independent audit process and so provides a good basis on which the UK government can seek compensation for the assets accrued during UK membership of the EU.
Whiteman emphasised: “The UK has a strong negotiating position given that it has been significant net contributor to EU finances.” And he stressed that in asking for the UK to meet liabilities EU negotiators must remember that there are two sides to a balance sheet.

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