By agreeing to pay billions to the EU, Britain has lost its chance to bargain for a good trade deal
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
King’s ransom: gold coins from Henry VI’S Treasury hidden in 1464 and dug up in 1966