So, Brexit is impossible then?

From the EU negotiating document on the size of the bill:

The amounts for items (1), (3) and (4) should be extracted from the EU consolidated accounts
established at the time of withdrawal and audited by the Court of Auditors.

As the auditors haven’t been able to sign off on he accounts for a generation now it’s therefore all impossible, no?

14 comments on “So, Brexit is impossible then?

  1. Bad drafting. Is it the consolidated accounts or the extracted amounts which needs to be audited? And what is “audited” actually intended to mean? – you can audit something and not sign off, obviously. Sometimes you can guess what the root drafting language in an EU document was and figure out the intention that way, but not here.

  2. When did the UK government last have accounts audited and “signed off”?

    Actually, perhaps we know a certain retired accountant and 0.2 of a professor who would be prepared to do it.

  3. Where are the “signed-off” accounts?

    I “sign off” annual accounts for a UK Limited, so I’m not completely (only largely) ignorant here. Come to think of it, our auditors don’t ever “sign off” the accounts, they just make a bunch of vague and formulaic statements about meeting reporting requirements and having no reason to believe the directors are diddling the company. It’s the CFO who has to sign the accounts (and go to jail if they are wrong).

    I’m no condoner of the vast fraud that happens in the EU, just it is something that happens to every government, the UK included. I don’t think anyone would want to “sign off” on any government body’s accounts. So this “EU never signs off its accounts” stuff is idiotic, because no government does.

  4. It’s obvious that governments are not precisely equivalent to businesses. For one thing, it’s hard to see who could act ‘independently’ to audit government accounts. (The IMF? But I jest.)

    But if a business had audit reports as heavily ‘qualified’ as those produced by the internal Court of Auditors, the business and the directors would be in a lot of trouble. And when the EU’s Chief (internal) Auditor points out severe problems, we all know what happens next:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3742148.stm

  5. Don’t come it Biggie.

    Yes there is corruption in the UK. Mostly at the level of local council and county council scum plus their dealings with NGOs and others. Such parasites have mushroomed since the poison advent of the EU anyway. And indeed grown from very small roots since the rise of the Ill-fare State in general. Not forgetting scummy, expenses-fiddling MPs.

    But the corruption over here is massively outweighed by the antics –and Mafia involvement–of southern Europe alone. Never mind that of your German chums.

    Also, lets not neglect all the charming antics of the Strassberg (sic–cos I don’t care how it is spelt) Shifters/Shafters –probably would be cheaper to put the town on wheels–and the rest of your sign-in-in-the-morning-and-go-back-home mates in the EU.

    Your so-what attitude to your financial responsibilities is also interesting.” Its-just-a-bit-of-paper-innit” is a common attitude amongst criminals. Not that I accuse you but you might be well employed to review your thought patterns. In any environment with the presence of evil (eg socialism–too much being any at all) there is always the danger that the corrupt and evil thought patterns of others start to form a background conducive to the warping of otherwise more wholesome minds. You live with cripples etc(and piss on any CM freak who reads that and is offended).

  6. General principles
    1. There should be a single financial settlement related to:
    o The Union budget;
    o The termination of the membership of the United Kingdom of all bodies or institutions
    established by the Treaties;
    o The participation of the United Kingdom in specific funds and facilities related to the Union policies

    It’s nice that they’re looking at paying us back. Not sure I want their rainbow coloured fantasy bridge porn funny money tho.

  7. Biggie – the Court of Auditors (Europäischer Rechningshof) used to sign off but has not felt able to do so for the last 25 or so years. There’s a distinction there that might work for you…

  8. With businesses of course the accounts are always signed off because if they weren’t that would cause stasis. Neither genuine nor fraudulent people want that. It’s only _ever_ after the fact that it turns out the signing off was wrong.

    I wouldn’t sign off the EU’s accounts either. Or the UK government’s. Or those of Lower Eckingon Parish Council.

    Ecks, I’m not sure what you are accusing me of. I’m confident in the accounts produced and in the auditors’ abilities to find anything wrong. Not what I’d call a so-what attitude.

  9. BiG: I wouldn’t sign off the EU’s accounts either.

    That’s scarcely the point, though, is it? The Rechnungshof did at one point in the past regularly sign off on the EU accounts but it has declined to do so for many years. This is clearly because their completeness and accuracy is questionable as you agree but it was not ever thus.

    The interesting thing is that the fact of non-signing has become institutionalised in a typical EU fudge that nobody at EU or member state level is even remotely bothered any more.

  10. WHEN will someone ask Angela Merkel and M. Macron to stump up the €300bn or so that is *their* share of the EU budget liabilities that M. Barnier thinks that require an up-front €100bn from the UK?

    NB I am not grossing this up for the discount granted to Mrs T on the net contribution to the EU

  11. @ Chris Miller
    It is possible for the accounts of private companies and charities to be inaccurate for other reasons than theft by individuals – failure to claim expenses is rife (sometimes because it is more hassle than it is worth sometimes because treasurers/trustees choose to hide how much they are giving to the charity). I do know a Chartered Statistician who used to put his expenses through the accounts matched by an equal donation but I could never be bothered.

    So you are *understating* the problem – it is not that we don’t know whether the EU accounts are wrong, nor that we don’t know in which direction they are wrong but that we know that €bilions have been stolen but we dopn’t know *how many* €bn have been stolen.

    Perhaps Theresa May might ask that the ridiculous claim for €100bn be reduced by the overpayment for Italian and otherfraud overthe past 40 years?

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