By agree­ing to pay bil­lions to the EU, Bri­tain has lost its chance to bar­gain for a good trade deal

The Daily Telegraph - - Letters to the editor - Terry Smith Hugh Ell­wood Tim Fowler Garth Hodg­son Gra­ham Laven­der Mark Bur­ton Shaun Whyte Nick Farmer

SIR – We have been sold down the river by a bunch of spine­less politi­cians who have ca­pit­u­lated to the de­mands of a fal­ter­ing EU.

We were in a strong po­si­tion and should have called the EU ne­go­tia­tors’ bluff. We now have no chance of ne­go­ti­at­ing a rea­son­able set­tle­ment and the ma­jor­ity of us who voted to leave will only be able to lick our wounds. Harry Stevens

Up­per Bent­ley, Worces­ter­shire

SIR – Brexit “ne­go­ti­a­tions”? What a farce! It is like go­ing into a restau­rant and be­ing told that they won’t show you the menu un­less you pay £75 per per­son.

Auchter­arder, Perthshire

SIR – If, heaven for­bid, Theresa May’s Gov­ern­ment has in­deed agreed to a bill of £50 bil­lion for leav­ing the EU, then she has al­ready lost the next gen­eral elec­tion for the Con­ser­va­tives.

Any­one with any spare cap­i­tal would be well ad­vised to move it over­seas very quickly to avoid the cap­i­tal con­trols that the in­com­ing Cor­byn regime will im­pose within the first 24 hours of its rule.

Lon­don NW11

SIR – The big­ger the Brexit bill, the more at­trac­tive the “No deal” op­tion be­comes.

Lytham St Annes, Lan­cashire

SIR – Like the EU, many or­gan­i­sa­tions op­er­ate a sub­scrip­tion model to raise their in­come. Of­ten such or­gan­i­sa­tions need to make in­vest­ments over time win­dows greater than the sub­scrip­tion pe­riod.

This re­quires fi­nan­cial plan­ning that takes ac­count of fore­see­able fi­nan­cial risks, par­tic­u­larly a fu­ture loss of in­come.

The in-out EU ref­er­en­dum was first promised in Jan­uary 2013 and be­came a Con­ser­va­tive man­i­festo com­mit­ment in the 2015 gen­eral elec­tion.

When the Con­ser­va­tive Party won that elec­tion in May 2015, there was a sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased risk that Bri­tain would leave the EU. This risk be­came a near cer­tainty af­ter the ref­er­en­dum re­sult in June 2016. Bri­tain will leave the EU in March 2019.

Thus the EU will have had over six years to plan its ex­pen­di­ture to take ac­count of the risk to its in­come. For nearly four of those six years the risk has been sig­nif­i­cant.

The mag­ni­tude of the so-called di­vorce bill de­manded by the EU shows that ei­ther the EU has not taken proper ac­count of th­ese fore­see­able fi­nan­cial risks to its in­come, or that it wishes to pun­ish the Bri­tish tax­payer for vot­ing to leave the EU.

Our re­sponse to both pos­si­bil­i­ties should be to refuse this un­jus­ti­fied bill.

Had­den­ham, Cam­bridgeshire

SIR – The Gov­ern­ment has ca­pit­u­lated to un­rea­son­able, in­deed out­ra­geous, EU de­mands. The re­spon­si­bil­ity for this lies not only with the Gov­ern­ment and the EU. It also rests with the metropoli­tan es­tab­lish­ment (MPS, peers, se­nior civil ser­vants, se­nior mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary, some within the me­dia and univer­si­ties) and big busi­ness in­ter­ests, who all be­lieve that Brexit is a disas­ter to be avoided at what­ever cost, and have placed re­peated pres­sure on the Gov­ern­ment to cave in to Michel Barnier and Co.

Is the Gov­ern­ment now set to give the ECJ con­tin­ued ju­ris­dic­tion in the UK, and is it about to ac­cept the EU de­mand that North­ern Ire­land re­main part of the EU sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union? What is the “tran­si­tion pe­riod” a tran­si­tion to?

West Rain­ton, Co Durham

SIR – Is Brexit head­ing to­wards a bad deal that will be worse than no deal?

Water­looville, Hamp­shire

SIR – Ev­i­dently the Re­main­ers have won the day and we are to pay the ran­som de­manded by the EU. Pre­sum­ably it is only a mat­ter of time be­fore we ac­cede to the rest of their de­mands.

What a spine­less and self-serv­ing bunch our lead­ers have be­come!

Tel­lig, Rhein­land-pfalz, Ger­many

SIR – It ap­pears we will be pay­ing a Brexit bill roughly the same as cur­rent es­ti­mates for HS2.

I won­der which project fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will con­sider ben­e­fited this coun­try more.

Tadley, Hamp­shire

SIR – A sum of £40-50 bil­lion is too much. How­ever, the £45 bil­lion of the Royal Bank of Scot­land’s bailout, and the hundreds of bil­lions that the tax payer tipped into the bank­ing sys­tem should help put it into per­spec­tive.

Al­n­mouth, Northum­ber­land

SIR – In view of the par­lous state of EU fi­nances in the ab­sence of Bri­tain, once we fi­nally leave, surely we should con­sider the di­vorce bill over­seas aid to be paid by the Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment.

Le­ices­ter

King’s ran­som: gold coins from Henry VI’S Trea­sury hid­den in 1464 and dug up in 1966

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