This will be interesting

Britain will be threatened with court action by the EU if it tries to walk away without paying a £50 billion “divorce bill”, leaked papers reveal.

A draft copy of the EU’s negotiating strategy for the forthcoming Brexit talks discusses taking Britain to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

It quotes an official as saying that if Britain refuses to pay, “in that case it is, see you in The Hague!”

Because courts go by what is in he law, not what is in the politics.

The worst result that could possibly happen is that we have to pay what we actually do have to pay. And you do have to wonder about the EU. How is that a threat?

22 comments on “This will be interesting

  1. Because courts go by what is in he law, not what is in the politics.

    Not in Britain they don’t. Not when it comes to Europe or to Human Rights.

    The French can deport people to Algeria because their courts are relatively sane. Britain can’t deport people to Italy.

  2. Exactly what law is this “divorce bill” based on?

    Oh, no, it’s a political calculation.

    So what. What are they going to do – invade? threaten us with £5b of tariffs? And present the government with a perfect opportunity to play hard-ball for no cost? Cos if the £50b somehow *really* is due, then the only sanction will be to pay it. OOoooohhh, scary.

    Seriously, what can this paper tiger seriously do to harm the UK if we tell them to sally forth and procreate?

  3. >>Because courts go by what is in he law, not what is in the politics.
    >
    >Not in Britain they don’t. Not when it comes to Europe or to Human Rights.

    +1

    Fuck them. They owe us billions. We’ve paid in enormous amounts, we’re entitled to a share of the assets. We should present them with our bill.

    I’m thinking that no deal is preferable to a deal that leaves us tied to them.

  4. @Cal – quite – either it’s a clean break, or the assets and liabilities are divided. Dividing only the liabilities but not the assets is very much a having-a-cake-and-eating-it proposition.

  5. They know this could never fly, it’s an ammunition air-drop to the Remainers here, to keep their spirits up and the fight against the UK going.

  6. As Stalin might not have said…

    So this Jean Claude Juncker feller and his EU…How many divisions has he got?”

    The EU can demand and indeed get judgement for as much as they like, but enforcing it will be another matter.

    Equally, while France would love to see the British “punished” for having the temerity to eject from the putative Federal States of Europe, they need to be careful about not frightening those states that remain.

    The Germans might think they can control the destiny of Europe, but they’ve been proven wrong about that time and again.

    I suspect that Mother May’s proposed estimate of “somewhat less than £3 billion” is about the right ballpark figure of what is due, which seems acceptable in return for a reasonable trade deal and strong immigration controls.

  7. The EU Commissioners are evidently worried that without the UK’s generous subsidy they will not be able to spend as much money on The Project as they had hoped to. The Project must always and inevitably expand and go forward: retrenchment is a betrayal of the Federal Ideal. So they are trying it on.

  8. What is this “draft plan” doing floating about anyway?

    Hardly comme il faut to have your negotiating strategy floating around ahead of the negos–unless by design. Or utter incompetence.

    Either way shows their weakness.

    In anticipation–fuck off NewRemainia you treasonous twat.

  9. Richard – “Hmm; this is the ECJ.”

    Apparently not

    “International Court of Justice in The Hague”

  10. “threaten us with £5b of tariffs?”

    So, if the UK doesn’t pay, the EU will retaliate by forcing EU citizens who buy British goods to pay instead. “Do as I say or I’ll shoot my foot off!”

  11. “Because courts go by what is in he law, not what is in the politics.” Jolly good tease, Tim.

    Anyhow, what care we for the Hague? We should surely leave that too.

  12. Just for an example of modern legal thinking, here is something written by George Letsas:

    In engaging with European legislation and case law, domestic courts were not obeying anyone; they were constructing their own view of how to interpret diverse legal sources (domestic and supranational) in a coherent and principled manner, and how to apply them in a way that respects equality before the law. In so doing, the courts were applying modern constitutionalism: the idea that there are certain fundamental legal principles, accepted and recognised in all mature democracies, which limit and control the effect of any decision made by government, however representative of the people it may be. Central to modern constitutionalism is the rule of law, which requires courts to uphold these principles, and the individual rights they encompass. In a rights-based constitutional democracy, no one is sovereign and no majoritarian decision, whether by the people or by Parliament, is above the rule of law.

    The thinking is that the law is effectively above the other branches of government. It is not bound by “mere” majoritarianism and certainly not by pesky popular movements. It is not even constrained by the law. This point doesn’t seem to worry the good prof at all.

  13. Another extraordinary quote from Letsas:

    Populism should not be understood as an appeal to the emotions of the electorate and to rhetoric capable of mobilising large numbers of voters. Rather, it is the deliberate attempt to bypass the normal channels of representative democracy, and the institutional checks and balances it imposes, by invoking as the sole justification for political action the nebulous concept of what the majority of the people want, or what they voted for in the most recent election.

  14. It’s all rather Orwellian – the idea that representative democracy should not be either democratic nor representative

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