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Brussels would target British rebate and EU opt-outs after second Brexit referendum

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission.  Credit: John Thys/AFP

The European Commission would move to strip Britain of its EU opt-outs and budget rebate if a second Brexit referendum resulted in a vote for Remain, The Telegraph has learnt.

Britain has opt-outs on EU asylum policy, membership of the single currency and the passport-free Schengen zone, an exemption from the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Human Rights, as well as some justice and crime policies.

Margaret Thatcher’s landmark EU budget rebate, worth an annual 66 per cent of the UK’s net contribution in the previous year, would also come into the Commission’s sights. According to the Treasury, the rebate was worth £4.9 billion in 2015.

The prospects of a second plebiscite appear to have improved slightly after Nigel Farage said on Thursday he thought another vote could be necessary to end the Brexit debate once and for all.

While the former Ukip leader’s comments have reignited discussion over...

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