On that Brexit divorce bill thingie

This also means that whatever the bill ends up being, it is a sunk cost. We’d definitely have to pay if we stayed, we’re going to have to pay – preferably a figure at the lower end of the range – if we leave, thus the bill has no effect whatsoever on the decision to stay or go. That’s what we mean by sunk cost.

To put this another way, to remain would be to sign up to a never ending series of those €100 billion payments, to leave is to draw that line in the sand beyond which we can indeed spend the cash on the NHS if we so wish. Or even not tax ourselves and leave the money fructifying in our pockets.

There simply isn’t a Brexit divorce bill at all, there’s only a clarification of how much continued membership would cost us.

13 thoughts on “On that Brexit divorce bill thingie”

  1. There is an argument I read elsewhere: since the UK has been a net contributor for years, it really is part owner of all the infrastructure the EU built over time.

    We could use the value of those as payment in lieu…

  2. Oh for a politician with the balls to present the EU with a bill for a return of the capital we invested in their failed project.

    Then I woke up.

  3. The difficulty as I see it is that the traitors in Parliament can see value in paying the EU its Danegeld, whereas I similarly see much greater value in NOT PAYING.

    If you take away the net £13 billion that the UK pays the EU each year and make sure there is no divorce payment of any substance then you put massive financial pressure on the EU, probably not enough to kill it (unfortunately), but enough to slow its progress for a few years and make it less attractive to those such as the Visegrád Group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) who are also thinking of upping sticks and going on their own.

    I don’t want to kill or even punish Europe, what I want is the free trade zone that was always promised and the EU has captured and regulated to death for the purposes of rent seeking.

    So that is why we should not pay the EU one brass sou in “Divorce Payments”.

  4. I genuinely don’t understand the point of the negotations.

    In voting to leave, the UK has caused two problems for the EU:
    1/ The first is a practical one: where does the money now come from? I suspect this is the lesser of the two problems, but the eurocracy will want it solved.
    2/ The second is the biggie- we are forcing them to define the process for leaving in the face of the federalist/’the EU must always grow’ direction of travel. They’ve zero incentive to make leaving easy or to look attractive, lest others follow our lead.

    They are never going to forgive us for the second. There is nothing the politicians on our side can do to make up for the affront the populace has caused. So why even try? The EU’s incentives are all negative for the UK, lest a Le Pen led France comes about, and Europe ends up looking like Grossedeutschland all over again (except this time the Germans are paying for it all).

    Incidentally, once we are out- unless we are all starving to death in six months- any bit of success on the UK’s part (even if heavily qualified ) spells trouble for the EU.
    If we leave softly, and we don’t all end up eating our pets, people will say that we’ve done alright, but would have done better had we left hard.
    If we leave hard, and do OK, people will say we would have done better if we’d had a longer tailing off period with the EU, but either way, life outside the EU looks just fine to them.

    Brussels is fucked either way.

  5. Thank you Tim, a good way of presenting the problem as what it is. Not a problem but the end of participation in an expensive process.
    What we do afterwards is another problem, one the politicians seem to have trouble with.
    Though to be fair like some other problems the optimal solution is rarely easy or fits nicely into prejudices.
    We may have to settle for sub optimal to begin with and improve.

    In the meantime one problem the media and politicians appear to be focusing on isn’t a problem.

  6. As I’ve said before the negotiations are little more than political theatre required to demonstrate that the UK has attempted to negotiate in good faith and to show the EU in its true light as little more than a megalomaniacal bureaucracy that’s just trying to consume the UK into its Federal EU superstate.

    Given the combination of red lines from both the UK and the EU no satisfactory deal is possible, indeed the appointment of Anglophobe Michel Barnier as EU negotiator shows the contempt that the EU has for the negotiation process.

    Even if by some miracle a reasonable deal was possible (and I don’t mean one which pays tens of billions in Danegeld to the EU), it would require ratification by both the UK parliament and the remaining EU 27 before April 2019.

    That was never going to happen, so instead what we will get is an automatic ejection come April 1st 2019 and the consequential fallout and recriminations because of that.

    Sure, there will be some level of economic decline because markets and companies don’t like uncertainty, but by the mid-2020’s I bet our outlook is far better than most countries in the Eurozone.

    The same thing happened when we left the ERM, we had all sorts of temporary economic problems and uncertainty followed by a 20-year economic boom.

  7. What are we negotiating to get? What benefits would there be that is in the power of the EU to create that are not possible without getting the EU to agree to do it? Everything is on our side, WE chose whether to force our people to pay artificially higher prices for foreign goods, WE chose who to let into this country.

  8. If we are going to pay something can we please do so by giving them the loan that we made to Greece.

    The loans to Greece might well be worthless in all practical terms but it fails my criteria for settlement.


  9. No, brass is too expensive. Make it an aluminium sou.
    Whatever a sou is.
    Make some Welsh dolls made of the brass and sell them to the Chinese as ethnic ornaments.

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