The payment will break down into three separate categories covering the rest of the EU’s current budgetary period, future commitments and liabilities such as pensions.
Britain will pay up to £15.7 billion towards Brussels programmes between now and 2020 after the bloc guaranteed that UK organisation will still be able to take part during that period.
It will also hand over a maximum of £20 billion for ‘Reste a Liquider’ payments – obligations such as loans to Ukraine and a refugee fund for Turkey which are yet to fall.
Finally, there will be a net payment of around £3.5 billion for liabilities which consists of costs, such as pensions at £8.7 billion, and money coming back to the UK such as £3 billion of capital from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The numbers were confirmed moments after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier refused to put an official figure on the amount, saying it is not possible to do so.
Despite his protestations, it is understood that a calculation has been made by officials and that the maximum amount Britain can expect to pay is £39 billion.
Downing Street has since confirmed the £35-£39billion figure, saying they “would look at it as a fair settlement of our obligations”.
In reality, the tally may be significant lower as many of the possible liabilities Britain could be on the hook for are considered very unlikely to ever be paid.
The figure is still likely to infuriate Brexiteers
Earlier Mr Barnier said: “I’ve never quoted any figures so I’m not going to start today, even if figures are bandied about. Some can be regarded as realistic. That’s not what I’m interested in – I wanted us to reach an unambiguous agreement.
“It’s not political, it’s because we can’t actually calculate exactly the figures concerned. To a certain extent it depends on the growth rate, to what extent credits are taken up, to what extent payments are made. These are figures that are going to shift.”
More to follow.