Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Brexit minus minus minus

13 December 2017


On 10 December 2017, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union demanded a “Canada plus plus plus” trade deal from the EU, else the € 40-60 billion financial settlement as reached by his boss, Mrs May, would not be paid to the EU. Blackmail was seldom more clear.

On 6 December 2017, the UK Finance Minister – or chancellor – acknowledged the obvious: “I find it inconceivable that we as a nation would be walking away from an obligation that we recognised as an obligation. That is not a credible scenario. That is not the kind of country we are. Frankly, it would not make us a credible partner for future international agreements.” (Times)

The (political) term “divorce (penalty) bill” has always been utterly misleading. It’s nothing more – or less – than a financial settlement of long-term UK commitments minus long-term EU subsidies (≤ 2040). The net settlement runs in the tens of billions as the UK is a net payer, like Germany, Holland and several other countries. See 2016 diagram of Dutch Statistics Bureau

The UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union may have used the words “Canada plus plus plus” as phase 1 of the negotiations resulted in a Brexit minus minus minus. An EU negotiator summarized it as follows: “The EU leads by 10-0.” (Volkskrant).

Phase 2 of the negotiations, a EU-UK trade deal, will be much harder according to both the EU and the UK. Why? The UK has much to win and the EU has not much to lose (Independent). The Brexiteers believe that the opposite is true. Phase 1 of the negotiations should already have proven to the Brexiteers that they are (very) wrong about the EU stance towards the UK.

The Brexit statements by the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union are intriguing. In his TV interview on the Marr Show on Sunday, “he said London would not pay any money to the EU if no final trade deal is negotiated with the bloc. “No deal means we won’t be paying the money,” Davis said”. “The Brexit secretary subsequently walked back the comments, telling LBC radio on Monday the deal with Brussels is in fact “more than legally enforceable”. (Politico)

On 6 December 2017, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union came with a shocking revelation, after being pressed by the Labour opposition for months to release these documents: there were/are no Brexit impact papers (eg, BBCFT, Guardian), and no sectoral Brexit impact assessments (eg, FT, Guardian). No expectations means no accountability.

In 2013, the Scottish National Party published a 670 page document, entitled Scotland’s Future, ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. Their Labour opponent branded the document a “work of fiction, full of meaningless assertions” (BBC). Expectations means accountability.

The title of this blog refers to the continued dismantling of Brexit and its promises. The end result will be a situation in which the UK Parliament should ask itself: is the EU-Brexit negotiation result worth leaving the EU?? The Brexiteers will answer: “Whatever it takes“.

Whatever It Takes (2017) by Imagine Dragons – artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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