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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

EU destroys another Brexit fantasy

Greeting claims by Brexiteers, and Boris Johnson in particular, with a large pinch of the proverbial salt is becoming second nature to many of us. So, when on Sunday, the Prime Minister claimed that “very substantial sums” could be redirected to domestic priorities if the UK left without a deal, amid reports that he had received legal advice suggesting that the payment could be cut to as little as £7bn, we could be forgiven for being sceptical. And for good reason.

As the Independent reports, Brussels is of the view that Britain will be expected to pay its £39bn Brexit divorce bill in full even if it leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

The paper quotes a European Commission spokesperson who indicated that failure to pay could hamper the UK’s chances of negotiating a free-trade agreement with the remaining 27 nations after withdrawal, stating that the financial settlement was “essential” to getting the new relationship onto a good footing.

Furthermore, Johnson did not even mention the settlement in his meeting with European Council president Donald Tusk at the G7 summit in France, while the commission spokesperson said that London has not formally raised the issue with the EU so far.

Not having a trade deal with the EU is bad enough, but what other countries will treat the UK in good faith and even talk to us if we are so willing to abandon our legal obligations? Johnson risks isolating the UK even more if he pursues this course of action.
Yes, he will make other countries think twice about deals if we do not act honourably.This would delay deals with the rest of the World. The only 'positive!?' sign will be Trump offering the carrot to a desperate Johnson. Do we want a one sided relationship?
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