Just when you thought it was safe to venture out of the European Union box, you get presented a bill for 50 Billion pounds, according to this story shared by Mr. R.M.:
There's something here that grabbed my eye, and it presages a looming fight between London and Brussels. Consider these statements carefully:
The calculation is believed to include the obligation for the UK to pay into the EU Budget until the end of 2020, having signed up to the Multiannual financial framework already, as well as the UK's share of outstanding pensions liabilities and other payments associated with loan guarantees.
The Czech Republic's Europe minister, Tomas Prouza, reportedly said the huge sums were "only things the UK has already committed itself to paying”.
When asked if British people should expect a bill worth tens of billions of pounds, Mr Prouza responded: “Definitely.
“This is what the UK has already committed to pay, and we would expect that the UK would honour its commitments. It will be one of the first issues coming up on the table.”
Downing Street said the UK would meet its obligations while it remained a member of the EU - but any financial settlement after that would be a matter for negotiation.
“Decisions on how UK taxpayers’ money is spent will be decisions for the UK to take moving forward,” a No.10 source said. (Emphasis added)
In other words, the Brussels bureaucrats are dictating that London has to fully honor all its EU commitments to 2020, even if it leaves the EU before then, and that includes Brussels telling the UK how it is going to spend that money. And London, of course, is saying, in effect, that the idea that Britain would have to continue to pay full membership obligations are that it is no longer fully a member after leaving the EU is "just plain barmy!" Of course, London has a point: if the U.K. leaves the EU say, in 2018, why should it have to continue paying its full "membership dues" to a club it is no longer a member of, and doesn't want to be a member of?
Of course, the Brussels bureaucrats will carry on like American snowflakes after the last election, howling about the unfairness of it all, and they'll put some teeth to those howls, and make the BREXIT as difficult as possible for the May Government. One can indeed view these pronouncements as perhaps a bit of the beginning of a financial war with the upstart country across the channel (just who do they think they are, anyway?).
But here's my brief high octane speculation of the day, and we can call it:
MEMO TO R.H. PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY:
You may wish to consider the following course of action to deal with the whining bureaucrats in Brussels, who now appear to think themselves as being the Inland Revenue for your country, and wanting to exact as much punishment from its recent sane decision to leave the hyper-regulated EU by presenting a bill for billions in sterling with no apparent terminus post quem.
I would recommend hitting them where they live: halt all flows of monetary obligations in the form of payments to the EU, and place them in escrow accounts in various banks, which will be released when the idiots in Brussels come to their senses and realize "they lost". Those monies can then be released to Brussels upon the successful conclusion of negotiations, which I'm quite certain will convince them to do so quickly. This will no doubt convince even the stupidest of bureaucrats in Brussels that foot-dragging and obstacle building to BREXIT is only hurting them.
Just a thought.
Have a nice day.
Joseph P Farrell
See you on the flip side...