Conservative MPs are divided over whether the PM should stump up more cash to unlock negotiationsby Alex Dean / November 18, 2017 / Leave a comment
This week, David Davis warned European Union leaders not to put “politics above prosperity” and urged them to soften their Brexit stance. Donald Tusk said in response that he appreciated Davis’s “English sense of humour.”
It was a good line—and the joke landed because Britain is so obviously the more chaotic of the two negotiating partners. Months on from the triggering of Article 50, the British government—and the Tory Party at large—is unable to agree on the most fundamental Brexit questions confronting it. These concern the Irish border, EU citizens’ rights and the Brexit “divorce bill,” which I want to focus on here.
The issue is this. The European Union believes that in light of its exit, Britain owes a substantial fee because of commitments made while it was a member state, on things like the pensions of Britons working in European institutions. Also factored in are road, rail and other investment projects which the UK agreed to contribute towards but which won’t be finished until after exit, and the administrative cost of the withdrawal process itself.