BREXITEER MPs reacted with anger last night as it emerged Britain will keep paying at least £2.59bn a year to the EU for decades after Brexit.
The eye-watering total comes from analysis by The Sun of Theresa May’s publicly declared ongoing commitments to Brussels so far.
The fresh row erupted after EU officials claimed the PM has agreed to shell out £44bn in a divorce cheque.
The cash would be spread out over 40 years, leaving Brussels with an annual sum of £1.1bn a year.
On top of that, Mrs May has also said the UK will want to pay into a series of ongoing EU programmes, which total £1.49bn.
They range from the Euratom nuclear regulator, Galileo and Copernicus satellites and Horizon 2020 science programmes to the Erasmus student travel scheme and Europol crime fighting agency.
Critics say the jumbo sum flies in the face of the PM’s promise in January to end “vast” annual cheques to Brussels.
In her landmark Lancaster House speech, the PM said: “The days of Britain making vast contributions to the European Union every year will end”.
Europhile backbenchers expressed alarm at the new figure last night.
Senior Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Sun: “In my view, £2bn a year to Brussels is simply too much.
“People are getting worried about the gradual softening of Brexit’s edges.
“Our money are not endless, and we will soon be forced to choose – do we want to keep the Royal Marines or make big payments to the EU?”
Mr Rees-Mogg added: “The government is dancing to Mr Barnier’s tune.
“When he says we have a week to find more money, we duly scrabble around to find it.
“In terms of a negotiating strategy, we are underplaying a rather strong hand.”
Downing Street played down the reports from Brussels of a money deal being struck, insisting that negotiations are still ongoing.
No10 aides also insisted the divorce cheque is also conditional on getting a good trade deal, saying: “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.
Speaking on a trip to Iraq, Mrs May added: “I want to see us able to move on to the trade and security talks, but it means us moving together”.
But the Pound shot up to a two month high on the claims.
Labour accused the government of hiding the numbers from voters as Speaker Bercow agreed to haul Treasury ministers into the Commons to answer an urgent question on it.
Labour MP Chris Leslie said the divorce bill represented as much as £1,000 from every man, woman and child in this country, adding: “This is not taking back control, this is losing control”.
But loyalist Leave-backers defended the move.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told BBC Radio 5 live that the UK is ”getting a bargain just by leaving the EU.”
He added: “If you took the total net contributions that would be close to 400 billion pounds over the same period
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “I hope the offer guarantees sufficient progress.
“Let’s get these serious talks underway. Now’s the time to get the ship off the rocks.”
Pro EU campaigners leaped on the sum to suggest it was time to start thinking about a second referendum for British voters to change their mind.
Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said: “New facts have emerged since the EU referendum campaign that fundamentally change the terms of the debate.
“As it becomes clear Brexit in the terms it was sold is undeliverable, the British people have the right to keep an open mind about whether this is really the best future for Britain.”
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP said “Christmas has come early” for the EU.
He added: “This is worse than a bad deal, as we don’t even know if we’re going to get a trade deal in return
“Even if there was a firm offer of tariff free access to the EU Single Market it would not be worth the 50 billion payment.”
Listen to Julia Hartley-Brewer from 10am on talkRADIO on DAB, via the app or online at talkradio.co.uk
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