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EU's Juncker says UK's Brexit bill will be around £50b

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The UK will have to pay a bill of about £50 billion (S$87.3 billion) when it leaves the European Union, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned as British Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger the formal start of the exit process.

[LONDON] The UK will have to pay a bill of about £50 billion (S$87.3 billion) when it leaves the European Union, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned as British Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger the formal start of the exit process.

While there is no desire to "punish" Britain for leaving the bloc, the EU must prevent other countries from following, the head of the EU's executive arm told the BBC in an interview broadcast on Friday.

"We have to calculate scientifically what the British commitments were and then the bill has to be paid," he said.

Asked if the bill will be £50 billion, which is about 58 billion euros, Mr Juncker replied: "It's around that".

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Mrs May will launch Britain on a two-year process of negotiations to quit the EU on March 29, when she says she will trigger Article 50 of the bloc's Lisbon Treaty. The size of Britain's exit bill will be among the first - and most contentious - topics for discussion, with British ministers indicating they do not believe the UK is liable for such a large sum.

This is the clearest indication from the commission of the size of the bill, and is in line with an estimate cited by Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern of 60 billion euros (S$90.723 billion).

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