UK officials are planning to demand a share of the European Union's 42,000 bottle wine cellar as part of Brexit talks, according to a report.

  • British officials reportedly eye share of 42k bottle EU wine cellar

  • Government to invoke Article 50 before end of March 2017

British prime minister Theresa May effectively fired the starting gun on Brexit over the weekend by announcing that she expects to invoke Article 50 by March 2017.

Article 50 is the route out of the EU, as set out in the bloc’s constitution.

UK officials face the task of disentangling the country from its various financial and legal ties with Brussels.

But, Britain’s civil servants are also keen to ensure that the UK gets its share of European assets, according to the Financial Times, citing unnamed sources.

This includes a portion of the EU wine cellar, as well as the EU art collection.

Details of the cellar’s contents are thin.

But, in 2012, a question in the European Parliament revealed that the European Commission had 15,500 bottles of wine in its cellar. The wines had a value of approximately €260,000.

The Council of Ministers was believed to have just over 27,000 bottles in its own cellar in 2012. This figure was not published but was reported by European affairs publication Politico, previously named European Voice.

Red wine made up nearly three quarters of that amount.

The UK has spent the last few years selling off bottles of wine from its own underground hospitality cellar near to Buckingham Palace.

Its plan has been to make the cellar self-financing. It’s possible that any wine acquired from Brexit negotiations could be used for a similar purpose.

Neither the European Commission nor the UK government’s department for exiting the European Union were immediately available for comment.

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