It's Official! We don't have to pay the £39BN.
Interesting article in the Daily Express online today from Joe Barnes, Brussels Correspondent.
(There is more in the article, but only typing out the portion pertaining to the £39BN.)
EU crisis: Brussels admits no legal way to make UK hand over £39bn after no-deal Brexit.
European Union bosses have conceded that they would have no legal case for recovering the £39 billion Brexit bill in the event of a no-deal.
Guther Oettinger, the Brussels budget commissioner, fears he won’t be able to find a court in the world that would support the European Union’s effort to secure funds from Britain after a no-deal Brexit.
The German eurocrat however, claimed Boris Johnson would not be able to win “any happy arrangements” from Brussels if he commits to a hardline stance and refuses to fork out the Brexit bill. Mr Johnson has insisted he will stick to the current withdrawal agreement, which includes the multi-billion pound payout and hated Northern Ireland backstop, if he can secure a number of concessions.
But the Prime Minister said on Sunday, Britain could refuse to pay the vast sums to Brussels in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
He said: “very substantial sums” could be redirected to domestic priorities after reports surfaces that legal advice suggests that the payment could be slashed to as little as £7bn.
In a Brexit boost to Mr Johnson, the EU has conceded that the Prime Minister isn’t legally obliged to hand over the cash.
Mr Ottenger said: “Our difficulty is that we could not enforce EU demands in any court in the world. “Johnson, on the other hand, must know that he would certainly not get any happy arrangements with us if he refused to pay, against all reason”.
The Prime Minister is yet to make the direct threat to Brussels, according to the European Commission.
A spokeswoman for the Brussels-based EU executive said: “All commitments that were taken by 28 member states should be honoured. “This is also and especially true in a no-deal scenario where the United Kingdom would be expected to continue to honour all commitments made during EU membership”. “Settling accounts is essential to starting a new relationship on the right foot, based on mutual trust”
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, said Britain would not be offered a free trade deal after a no-deal Brexit unless the money is paid.
He said: “If the UK doesn’t pay what is due, the EU will not negotiate a trade deal. “After a no deal, this will be a first condition of any talks. Britain is better than this”.
Jean-Claude Paris, a former head of the European Commission’s legal service, said: “If the UK refuses to pay its debts to the EU, then the EU will not accept to negotiate a trade agreement with the UK.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister will send his chief negotiator to Brussels to discuss the Irish backstop solutions.
David Frost, Downing Street’s Brexit sherpa, will meet EU officials in an effort to find an alternative method of preventing customs checks on the Irish border and preventing no deal.
UK officials claim the discussions are simple follow-ups to the Prime Minister’s weekend meetings with Donald Tusk, the European Council’s president, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.
END OF PARTIAL QUOTE
1/// Could someone explain what Boris means by "sticking to the withdrawal agreement, which includes the £39bn and the hated backstop" I hope it does not mean what I think it means.
2/// We are sticking to the agreement to pay our debts. It comes to £7BN.
3/// Well, we can certainly see that once EU officials come out of their Brussels bubble to threaten the UK once again, even though Boris hasn’t officially said we will withhold the money in the event of a no-deal, They must be worried!!
What a refreshing change to see the bullies feeling bullied themselves. Not nice, ey?