UK could pay into EU for decade after Brexit, German minister warns


Britain faces paying into the European Union (EU) for more than a decade after it quits the bloc, Germany's finance minister has said.

The UK will still be bound by tax rules that stop it from incentivising investors to stay in the country and its commitments to Brussels will "last beyond exit", Wolfgang Schauble warned.

There will be no special deal to curb freedom of movement if the UK wants to remain part of the common market, he insisted.

Mr Schauble's hardline approach comes as Theresa May prepares to meet international leaders during a visit to Berlin.

Although Brexit is not on the agenda for the talks, the Prime Minister is likely to discuss the issue with European counterparts.

Germany's tough approach comes after French President Francois Hollande said in October that Britain must pay a price for severing its ties to Brussels.

Mr Schauble told the Financial Times: "Until the UK's exit is complete, Britain will certainly have to fulfil its commitments.

"Possibly there will be some commitments that last beyond the exit ... even, in part, to 2030 ... Also we cannot grant any generous rebates."

Mr Schauble said freedom of movement was a core part of the single market and changing the key principles of the bloc would hit financial services companies.

"There is no a la carte menu," he said. "There is only the whole menu or none.

"Without membership of the internal market, without acceptance of the four basic freedoms of the internal market there can, of course, be no passporting, no free access for financial products or for financial actors."