2017 Oct 13 - Brexit Bill (again)


A lot of page filler about Brexit in the papers this week. Essentially nothing of substance has happened for a few days and there’s no proper developments as such. Yet at the same time, there’s no debacles from the White House this week and from a legal perspective, the newspaper lawyers would certainly prefer that their columnists discuss rumours about Phillip Hammond than those surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s ongoing ‘legal difficulties’

The supposed ‘Brexit Battle’ is that Phillip Hammond has refused to set aside money in case there’s no deal whereas other ministers say that we need to at least acknowledge that there’s a possibility of it happening, otherwise we don’t have a proper negotiating position. At the same time though, the EU has said the talks aren’t going anywhere anyway unless the UK writes writes out a cheque, a huge cheque too, like the sort that Nigel Farage might sign after a big Friday lunch at Simpsons, or that a locksmith might make you write out if you were unlucky enough to need their services on a bank holiday.

There are of course some legitimate reasons for some kind of settlement, like paying for the pensions of the EU civil servants that the UK has, after all, employed for the past few decades, and there’s our commitment to some scientific projects that will continue for years to come. But the EU’s costs aren’t itemised in any way and there’s zero explanation of where they got their suspiciously ballpark €100bn figure from other than perhaps reading a beginners book on negotiating and guessing that if they go in silly high like that then the UK will somehow be obliged to meet them halfway in the middle because that’s how they think business works when the option of bribery’s off the table. Perhaps we should just copy their approach, play silly buggers and claim that Brussels actually owes the UK money, then meet them half way at zero.
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