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Corbyn still silent on figure Labour would offer to settle Brexit divorce bill

The party leader indicated that a transition period after the UK leaves the EU would make a financial settlement “less of an obstacle”.

Jeremy Corbyn has again refused to say how much Labour would offer the European Union for the so-called Brexit “divorce” bill to unlock trade talks.

The Labour leader also suggested the party would accept abiding by EU standards to ensure tariff-free trade.

He also indicated that a transition period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 would make a financial settlement “less of an obstacle”.

Mr Corbyn told the Press Association: “We would have to agree that any goods we import would be at least of the quality required by European trade rules as they are at the moment, if not better.

“I would be happy to agree that.

“On the so-called divorce bill, it’s quite clear that there are EU programmes that have been funded across all member states that must continue through to their fruition and indeed some of those programmes are in Britain.

“And so we’re saying quite clearly there is an obligation to pay and support those continuing ones.

“And we would continue to do that and so there is a payment that would have to continue to be made.

“And since we’ve argued for, it seems successfully, a transition period, then that becomes less of an immediate obstacle.

“The discussions we’ve had with colleagues in Brussels has shown that there is an appetite to come to that sort of agreement.

“Can I put a figure on it? No.”

He went on: “Hopefully it (the financial settlement) could be agreed fairly quickly but there’s going to be a transition period anyway and clearly during the transition period we would have access to the market under existing terms and at the same time those programmes will carry on.”

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