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EU Demands UK Must Pay $48Bn ‘Divorce Bill’ Even After No-Deal Brexit

EU Demands UK Must Pay $48Bn ‘Divorce Bill’ Even After No-Deal Brexit

EU Spokesperson: “United Kingdom would be expected to continue to honor all commitments.”

The European Union expects the United Kingdom to pay a £39 billion ($48 billion) ‘divorce bill’ even in the case of a no-deal Brexit. The refusal to pay the amount could hurt the UK’s prospects of entering into a trade agreement with the remaining 27 member state of the bloc.

The UK is set to leave the EU on October 31.

The EU officials see the multi-billion dollar shakedown as a ‘debt’ Britain must pay to leave the bloc.

“If the UK refuses to pay its debts to the EU, then the EU will not accept to negotiate a trade agreement with the UK,” Jean-Claude Piris, the former head of the EU council’s legal service, said.

Ahead of the G7 summit in France that wrapped up on Monday, UK Prime Minister Johnson indicated his country might withhold the payment in case of a no-deal Brexit.

“If we come out without an agreement it is certainly true that the £39bn is no longer, strictly speaking, owed,” PM Johnson said. “There will be very substantial sums available to our country to spend on our priorities. It’s not a threat. It’s a simple statement of reality.”

The leader of the opposition Brexit Party, Nigel Farage, slammed the remarks made by the EU official, calling them “complete rubbish.”

Reuters reported the EU’s latest demands regarding the Brexit divorce bill:

The European Union expects Britain to honour all financial obligations made during its membership of the bloc even after a no-deal Brexit, a spokeswoman for the European Commission said on Monday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday if Britain leaves without a divorce deal, it will no longer legally owe the 39 billion pounds ($47.88 billion) agreed by his predecessor.

“All commitments that were taken by the 28 member states should be honoured. This is also and especially true in a no-deal scenario where the United Kingdom would be expected to continue to honour all commitments made during EU membership,” spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said.

“Rather than going now into a judicial action threat, I think that it is important to make clear that settling accounts is essential to starting of a new relationship on the right foot, based on mutual trust,” she said, adding London had not formally raised the issue with the EU so far.

The $48 billion shakedown is the EU’s way of punishing the British people for voting to leave the bloc. The British people will be treated as “deserters” if they voted for Brexit, EU Council President Jean-Claude Juncker warned the UK voters ahead of the June 2016 referendum. In March 2017, the EU Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt declared that “Britain has shot itself in the foot [by voting to leave the EU]. We intend to shoot you in the other.” In his recent book “The Great Betrayal,” BBC journalist Rod Liddle claims former UK Prime Minister May failed in Brexit negotiations because she “serially underestimated the EU’s desire and need to punish the UK.”

PM Johnson’s efforts of reaching a compromise with Brussels may meet the same fate. Germany and France, the key players within the EU, have refused to budge. A staffer for President Emmanuel Macron declared there was not “the thickness of a cigarette paper between” the French and German position on Brexit. Johnson’s recent visit to Berlin and Paris and the latest round of talks with EU Council President Donald Tusk at the G7 summit in France have done nothing to end the deadlock.

While the EU has been doing everything to stall Brexit, U.S. President Trump has remained supportive of Johnson’s pro-Brexit stance. Talking to reporters after meeting Johnson at the G7 summit this weekend, President Trump was upbeat about the prospects of a US-UK trade deal. The U.S. President promised a ‘very big trade deal’ once the UK leaves the EU. He praised the British Prime Minister as the “right man” to deliver Brexit.

[Cover image via YouTube]


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That’s only a tiny fraction of the total cost of surrendering your sovereignty.

UnCivilServant | August 27, 2019 at 7:32 am

Boris should just make a rude gesture at him and walk away. The EU is in every way more dependant on the UK than the UK is on the EU.

“You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave.” — Hotel California

Socialists lie. And, they sure look like slave owners to me.


It seems to me that there is no possible way that this “ALIMONY” is enforceable. For that to happen, you’d need an army. And while the Future Female Fürher, Ursula von Der Leyen, believes that the European Union needs its own army, what’s she going to do: invade The UK with the French Army?

The nice thing about the U.K. is that it’s still a chain of islands, making the English Channel, the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic a damn fine moat. And although the “Chunnel” exists, anyone planning an attack through it would do well to consider the Biblical Story of Moses parting the Red Sea and how that turned out for the Egyptian Army.

    Virginia42 in reply to Jakespeed. | August 27, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Last time the French tried it, it just didn’t work out.

    drednicolson in reply to Jakespeed. | August 27, 2019 at 9:35 am

    There hasn’t been a successful invasion of the British Isles for almost a thousand years. William the Conqueror was the last one to pull it off, and only because he was able to land his troops in peace while King Harold was busy with the Norwegians at Stamford. If the Saxons had been around to defend the beaches, the Normans may very well have been driven back over the Channel.

      Tom Servo in reply to drednicolson. | August 27, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Technically, Henry Tudor staged an invasion when he brought his army over from France and landed in Wales, prior to the battle of Bosworth Fields. After his victory, Henry’s historians got around the issue by claiming that Henry had “always” been the Legitimate King, and Richard III was a usurper, and therefore there was no invasion. Well, Henry got to write the history because he won.

This story, uncharacteristically for this site, is click-bait. Either (1) the $48 is already owed by the UK as an EU member or (2) it is inherently owed under the procedures that govern an exit or (3) it was part of the unratified attempt at a deal. If it’s # 1 or 2, the UK will pay it because countries that are deadbeats lose their credit standing and almost always suffer more than the amount they failed to pay. If it’s #3, the UK does not owe it (except under the perverse logic, which pervades Palestinians’ thinking, for example, & so could well be the way the EU sees this, that every negotiation must commence from the set of unagreed prior proposals that most favors them). So what’s left is, maybe, is an unenforceable demand for #3, as a condition for making a new deal with a non-EU UK. The UK will not agree to it; the UK will get favorable trade deals with the US, Japan and others; and the EU will have thrown Ireland under the bus since the EU needs the UK’s cooperation on Irish trade far more than the UK needs anything from the EU. And if it really is #3, the UK might also have a balid WTO complaint against the EU.

    healthguyfsu in reply to RRRR. | August 27, 2019 at 8:15 am

    I wouldn’t call it click bait. It’s relevant to the US and world policy and is being discussed by other entities as noted by linked sources.

    The rest of your post I agree with. I don’t know enough about the details to know who is just puffing and who has the written agreements on their side.

      healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | August 27, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Also, both sides need something from each other to some degree. The EU is just trying to stir up dissent for the current government based on divisions in the UK regarding Brexit. Eventually, both will have to cooperate with one another post-Brexit.

    DirtyRich in reply to RRRR. | August 27, 2019 at 9:43 am

    The divorce bill is part of #3. The amount was negotiated by May but never ratified by Parliament. The EU has consistently stated that there were two phases of Brexit negotiations. The first was to settle British debt and secure preferential treatment for EU citizens and business in Britain. Only after Britain satisfied the EU would Britain’s concerns be addressed in separate negotiations.

    The amount negotiated by May included payments for future projects and pensions for another 40-something years, which is why Johnson is telling them to go pound sand. Britain has agreed to settle all current debts, including dues through 2020 and favorable loan terms gained as an EU member.

    Britain is also part owner of multiple EU facilities, not sure if those are included in the previous negotiations.

      artichoke in reply to DirtyRich. | August 27, 2019 at 11:31 am

      UK should be more Trumpian about it. If EU’s going to be unreasonable to give themselves a favorable starting place for negotiations, UK should be unreasonable.

      Leave with no deal, and also present a bill to the EU for a bunch of other stuff that for one reason or another, the EU owes the UK. Obviously the benefits don’t go only one way.

      artichoke in reply to DirtyRich. | August 27, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Also, it sounds like the first phase is all what UK gives to the EU, none the other way.

      Even if that’s signed and agreed, it’s not a contract under the normal common law understanding. There’s no exchange of value.

      EU is asking for cartoonishly ridiculous stuff now. I never knew that grown up people who look like serious adults could say such stupid things over and over.

In taking this stance the EU is shooting itself in the foot.

    DirtyRich in reply to rdm. | August 27, 2019 at 9:47 am

    The EU doesn’t have a choice. If Britain exits under anything other than punishing terms, other countries will start dropping out.

    Which is why the EU wants a military, to maintain the union in the same way the US did during the Civil War.

      artichoke in reply to DirtyRich. | August 27, 2019 at 11:29 am

      Then why don’t those potential dropouts, like Italy, speak now against the EU’s harsh tactics against the UK? If they want out, they have no reason to support EU’s ability to keep current members in.

        DirtyRich in reply to artichoke. | August 27, 2019 at 11:51 am

        Italy isn’t taking a stance either way really. They’re just waiting on the side to see what happens with Britain. I wouldn’t be surprised if when Britain does leave that some of the other reluctant nations decide to remain in the EU but use the threat of leaving to renegotiate terms.
        Remember, some of those nations that would want to leave actually have significant debt to the EU and Germany and can’t ignore it like Britain can.

        MsPony65 in reply to artichoke. | August 28, 2019 at 10:58 am

        Italy is in pretty sad financial shape. They probably don’t want to rock the boat.

Tell those EU deadbeats to take it out of their massive NATO arrears balance.

    That’s the USA’s money not UK

    So NO

      It doesn’t matter who they owe the NATO debt to. It’s just a game. They will never pay that debt. BoJo could hand them a dunning letter on behalf of NATO and promise the $48B on condition that the EU countries settle with NATO. It’s a no-risk ploy. The UK is not the real deadbeat in this game.

        DirtyRich in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 27, 2019 at 11:55 am

        It would be awesome if Trump could come up with some NATO-based bill and agree to cancel previous debt on it in exchange for Britain’s ‘debt.’
        Diplomatically it would be great… Embarrassing the EU nations while also building more bridges with Britain. Even if the EU refuses but Johnson pulls out with no payments, Trump could still claim victory, saying that the EU only disagreed publicly to save face but still went along.

          artichoke in reply to DirtyRich. | August 27, 2019 at 4:02 pm

          No, why? The money is owed to us. I don’t want to transfer it to the UK.

          We had to pay money to England under the Treaty of Paris, after beating Cornwallis on the battlefield. Which is bizarre. No more!

    Actually, the NATO arrears isn’t money owed to anyone. It is money that they promised to spend on their own country’s military in support of NATO. They could settle the arrears by buying their military more new equipment, drafting more people into the military, paying their soldiers more money or some combination thereof!

The $48 bn bill isn’t intended to punish the British people, since as far as Brussels is concerned, neither the people, nor their votes, count in the least.

It’s a reminder to the politicians who’s really the boss. The entire concept of leaving the EU is incomprehensible and unacceptable to them, which is why they have not, up until now they have not bargained in good faith. There is no reason to believe this will change.

    drednicolson in reply to irv. | August 27, 2019 at 9:19 am

    The UK never even joined the EU in the first place. It joined the European Common Market and got roped in when that mutated into the EU.

    The only thing Johnson owes the EU suits is a few fat lips.

    artichoke in reply to irv. | August 27, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Brexit Derangement Syndrome

Feels like 1776 all over again, only in reverse

I say through the tea over and let the party begin!

It’s cute that France and Germany are expecting someone to honor their commitments to a multi-national pact.

While they’re on their high-horse maybe they can start living up to their NATO commitments for once.

The EU is simply the latest iteration of the century long attempt to impose One World Government and enslave mankind. From the League of Nations, to the UN (why are we still part of this), to the EU, and the nascent eco-tyranny, these are all simply different chapters from the same noxious book.

US-UK trade agreement on Oct 1….EU wants $48 billion?….the US-UK trade alliance puts a 25% tariff on EU ie. German cars, trucks and buses. PDJT is really, really looking for a reason to drop the hammer on Angela and the Germans.

Boris should reply, “Send me the bill.”

So the wife wants out, they can’t agree to terms so she wants a no terms divorce but the husband still wants spousal priviledge 48 more times… tells you just how f’ed up the EU is…

“British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday if Britain leaves without a divorce deal, it will no longer legally owe the 39 billion pounds ($47.88 billion) agreed by his predecessor.”

What agreement? That payment was in the context of a deal, right? If there’s no deal, then I don’t owe that.

This is like I ask you what you’ll sell your house for, you offer to sell it to me for $500,000, then I say no. But if I want to get in my car and drive away, I still have to pay you the $500,000 that was part of the deal we didn’t make.

This logic isn’t just twisted. It’s retarded.

Another quirk of US-British relations right now –
If China violates the Hong Kong self-rule policy negotiated in their treaty with Britain, does that open the door for Britain to respond militarily… and possibly lead to NATO involvement?

    Barry in reply to DirtyRich. | August 27, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    “…does that open the door for Britain to respond militarily…”

    Sure, if they could, but they can’t. So they won’t. They were afraid of China when they negotiated the current deal.

      artichoke in reply to Barry. | August 27, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Right, they had to give back HK Island which they captured, because the lease on Kowloon was up. With China controlling the land of Kowloon, they would simply militarily retake all the HK islands.

      But now I am not aware of any claim the Brits have under the Basic Law. The ceremony in 1997 was quite definitive and the Chinese didn’t go out of their way to be too subtle about. Britain sailed away, kicked out.

Um, no deal.

The arrangement with Hong Kong was that the UK held the island outright since 1842 and Kowloon outright since 1860, but had only a 99-year lease on the “New Territories” that was due to expire in 1998. The New Territories comprise about 90% of the land area of Hong Kong. When the end date for the lease was approaching, the UK decided that it was impossible not to hand back the New Territories, it was not particularly sensible strategically or commercially to separate the small parts held in perpetuity, and it would be a difficult task militarily in any event to confront China. So the UK gave back the whole thing. What was shameful was that they told Hong Kongers, “Yes, you are British subjects, but you are not British citizens,” which meant that they could not move to the UK itself. At this point, the US is the only country that could make China fearful of abrogating the promises made to Hong Kongers of “two systems,” not by overt military action but by tariffs, sanctions that would apply to any country that traded with China and recognition of Taiwan as a separate country. And since the US has other trade-related fish to fry with China, including getting the IP theft stopped, it is not clear that the US would block them in Hong Kong if they were to agree to other things.

    artichoke in reply to RRRR. | August 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    There’s a little more texture than that. They gave about 30% of Hong Kong real British passports. These were the upper part of society, the more desirable people. Professionals, important politicians, successful businesspeople, celebrities. The UK picked who it wanted.

    The rest were given the UK travel document that did not give the right to settle in the UK. So some “divide and conquer” there.
    When I saw the HK people in the time up to the handover, there was in my view a malaise about them. Also many hated China and had never even been across the border, having run to HK to escape Mao Zedong. And the unlucky 70% were literally handed back.

Now, look back on Teresa May. What a loser.

    I’ll give her this. Boris Johnson hasn’t been able to negotiate any improvement in the deal either, and after he expressed reasonable confidence that he could.

Just thought of this: if the EU gets all the money in the divorce, who gets the little kids?

The pervs in Belgium, though Prince Andrew may hold out for a few.

EU: Pay $48 billion to negotiate the terms of your departure from the default “no deal”

May: (promises to pay $48 billion)

Negotiations go nowhere and May loses office to Johnson. Negotiations continue to go nowhere.

Johnson: If we can’t get an agreement on departure other than “no deal” we’re going to claw back the $48 billion because you were only pretending to negotiate.

The EU demand for payment isn’t new, the EU is just trotting it out again as the deadline for a hard Brexit approaches. PM Johnson should just say, IMO;
‘GBR has and will continue to meet it’s financial obligations of membership for all organizations that GBR maintains membership within. GBR encourages those EU members squawking loudest about dues to the EU to remember that their own governments continue to fail to allocate the minimum level of 2% of GDP towards defense spending as required for their own continued membership in NATO. The government of GBR looks forward to maintaining our commitment to NATO and the prospect of strengthening our special relationship with the United States military and economically in the post Brexit reality come 31 October.’

Don’t get into stupid reporter hypothetical question games. Stick with that as the basis for every day between now and 31 October. Maybe the repetition will cause reality to sink in. It isn’t like there wouldn’t be some way for GBR to pull a Tit for tat. Goodness sales how many treaties has GBR executed? It would seem improbable that none of the individual EU member States don’t actually owe GBR and they simply haven’t pressed the issue. Hell China owes the U.S. for unpaid loans from WW2 era. Yes they had a revolution and the victors of the revolution didn’t borrow the money; but the current government of China assumed those obligations when it assumed the prerogatives of the prior regime. Very super simply put and leaving out a whole bunch of legal niceties, China doesn’t get to pick and choose, they got the seat at the UN Security Council so they are obliged to pay the debt.

Using that as a comparison I find it difficult to imagine that none of the EU Member states don’t owe GBR. So long story short it would be beneficial if the EU would stop squawking about getting $40+ Billion. The EU knows they ain’t getting it and likely will shut up about it once a hard Brexit occurs plus say six months for reality to set in.

Like Islam! Once in, you can never leave.

The EU is on life support as it should be. Johnson should just tell the EU to pound sand.

Hell, no!