EU Accuses UK Of Backtracking: UK MPs Threaten To Block Divorce Payments

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Brexit negotiations hit the rocks with the size of the Brexit divorce bill the key issue.

The Independent reports: Britain is ‘backtracking’ on its Brexit divorce bill commitments, moans Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator warns.

My response: Hooray for the UK!

Michel Barnier said he was “disappointed” by the UK position and publicly warned the British team it should go back to the drawing board after it presented a legal analysis arguing that Britain owed far less than the Commission believed.


“So there’s a moral dilemma here: you can’t have 27 paying for what was decided by 28, so what was decided by 28 member states, that has to be borne out by 28 member states right up to the end, it’s as simple as that.


The UK says it wants to go through the Brexit bill line-by-line to work out what it owes the EU, but the EU says spending commitments already agreed to during the current budget round should simply be honored.


David Davis told the House of Commons earlier this week that he had “significant differences” with the EU on the Brexit divorce bill and that the two sides were taking “very different legal stances”.


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said the final divorce bill could be around £55bn. Mr. Davis has dismissed reports the UK secretly agreed on a bill of up to £50bn. Others suggested the divorce bill could reach £92bn.


The so-called divorce bill has caused controversy for months. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson faced criticism in July for suggesting the EU could “go whistle” if they expected the UK to pay any money to leave.

EU Hucksters

The Sunday Express explains Why EU will NEVER get its £90bn Brexit divorce bill.

EU negotiators were said to have been left “flabbergasted” after British lawmakers told them there was little or no legal basis for their £90billion claim. A young civil servant reportedly left EU negotiators “open-mouthed” with a line-by-line “technical” demolition of the demand.


Tory grandee John Redwood said last night that there was no legal basis for the demand. He also said Mr Davis had no right to authorise it without parliamentary approval.


“Article 50 is clear,” he said. “Once a state leaves it has no further rights and benefits, and no further duties or obligations. It is of course true the treaty does not prevent the EU accepting a payment volunteered by a departing state if it wished to pay one. However, the UK could not make such a payment legally under our own law and system for controlling public spending.”


The former Welsh secretary, who voted for Brexit, said ministers have “absolutely no authority to make one-off additional payments to the EU. The only way Mr. Davis could authorize a leaving payment would be to put through an Act of Parliament specifically authorizing such an ex gratia payment. I can’t see many Conservative MPs wanting to vote for that.”


Eurosceptics on both sides of the house said MPs were likely to vote down any demand deemed “excessive” – even those who had voted Remain.


Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Almost certainly there will have to be a vote. The money has to be voted through by Parliament and with MPs facing the fury of voters, it cannot be too much money.”


Fellow Brexiteer and Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “Any deal will have to go through Parliament and if its seen in any way excessive then it won’t go through.”


Referring to an ICM poll which found that two-thirds of voters would find paying anything over £10 billion “unacceptable”, he added: “That polling data gives you a ballpark figure of what the British public would find acceptable. We buy more from the EU than we sell, we aren’t charging them for access to our market so what possible reason would they have to charge us for access to theirs unless they want to cost Europeans their livelihoods?


“The British public won’t accept a punishment payment. No MP in their right mind would vote for that, whether they are Brexiteers or Remainers. The EU is talking about multi-billion pound payments in line with the entire NHS budget. The electorate won’t stand for it.”


Labour MP Kate Hoey, who also voted Leave, agreed. She said: “If you give up your membership of a leisure or social club, you don’t have to carry on paying for the staff pensions after you’ve left.”

Journalist Blasts Bexit Divorce Bill

He surprised others on the news panel show Dateline after the three other correspondents relentlessly criticised David Davis and the British negotiating team.

Mr. Burns also hit out at Michel Barnier’s “frankly insulting” tone towards Britain and warned Jean-Claude Juncker that he was “sitting on a volcano”.

John Fisher Burns, who previously worked for the New York Times, delivered a stunning rebuke as the lone voice defending Britain’s approach to Brexit on a BBC show.

“Barnier’s position seems to be a combination of Napoleonic hauteur and fairground hucksterism,” said Burns.

MPs Threaten to BLOCK any Big Brexit Divorce Bill

The Daily Mail reports MPs Threaten to BLOCK any Big Brexit Divorce Bill.

MPs are threatening to block any big divorce bill Theresa May tries to agree with the EU. The warnings underline the scale of the challenge the government faces if it signs up to paying large sums of money to Brussels. The EU has made clear it wants up to £100 billion to settle the UK’s ‘liabilities’ when we leave the bloc.


Eurocrats have insisted the principles of the financial divorce must be agreed before they will start talking about trade talks – effectively attempting to hold the UK to ransom.


There are claims ministers might be willing to consider a figure closer to £50billion to end the stand-off- although Brexit Secretary David Davis has dismissed that as ‘total rubbish’.


Even a significantly lower payment could be a serious problem for the government, with leading Eurosceptics insisting an Act of Parliament would be needed to authorize handing over the cash.


Former Cabinet minister John Redwood said he did not believe many MPs would vote in favor of such a payment.


‘The only way UK Ministers could authorize a leaving payment would be to put through an Act of Parliament specifically authorizing such an ex gratia payment. I can’t see many Conservative MPs wanting to vote for that,’ he told The Sun.


Labour MP Kate Hoey added: ‘I suspect a lot of MPs would in principle vote against any excessive payment.


‘I would vote against paying a big bill unless I could be convinced that all the money we have paid in over many years had been taken into account first.


‘But my quick calculations suggest that the British public would be expecting to pay very very little, if anything at all.’

My Take

The UK owes the EU nothing. £10 billion would be a generous offer.

The EU may stall, and stall and stall. Another possibility is the UK agree may agree to a lengthy transition period in which the UK keeps paying EU dues. Those dues could mount up.

To avoid such stalling tactics, The best thing to do is simply leave and pay nothing, then revoke EU fishing rights and threaten to lower corporate taxes. Then and only then will negotiations make any sense.

Unfortunately, the nannycrats still act as if they have the upper hand. The sooner the UK ends that delusion, the better.

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tacoman's picture

We just walk - simple. The UK has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, we should stick to it.

JohninMK's picture

We have no legal obligation under Article 50 to pay them anything. We will pay up but it needs to be by mature negotiation, which seems to be some way off.

The EU also has a problem looming. One of the reasons for the two years notice was to allow them to plan around any loss of revenue, like our cutting contributions. They do not seem to have started that process and instead of doing so on the basis of zero from us and appearing heroes if they got something, they have set themselves up for looking like incompetent idiots.

This is a huge pressure on them compounded by the fact that the day they have to sit down and decide who is not getting what from our zero contribution in April 2019 is rapidly approaching. Those discussions will make the Brexit discussion look like sweetness and light.

sickavme's picture

I wonder if they realize that no matter what, the EU is collapseing on its own...

Doom and Dust's picture

Yes the EU will collapse! Tomorrow for sure!

Put your money where your drooling mouth is and short the euro. No? Thought so.

HenryKissingerZuckerberg's picture

the EU has no army to enforce nothing...

so there.

Rip van Wrinkle's picture

It ain't far away. French troops are stationed in Cornwall.


But then...they'll run when the fighting starts.

philipat's picture

Yes, why is the UK wasting TWO years with these ridiculous "discussions" when the EU has no intention of reaching a fair settlement. The UK should just WALK NOW with a middle finger in the air. What can Brussles do? Bye Y'all.....

Occident Mortal's picture

The EU should be mindful that the British electorate has the potential to elect an ultra hostile xenophobic government hell bent on destroying the EU and replacing it with something more pragmatic, where contributing 20% of the budget gets you a bit more control than 1/28th of the votes.

The worst possible outcome here is that the British people become even more angry at the EU and more and more Brits come to see it as evil or an existential threat.
Then instead of merely quiting the project (as an expensive waste of time and money) and retreating to our island paradise we will actively seek to destroy it.

Doom and Dust's picture

The UK is already actively seeking to destroy the EU, at least those in power, while Mr. Brexit Fartage tours the Continent's anti-EU rallies.

That is why it's merely sound strategy and solid play for the EU to leave its adversary ruined and in chaos, as much as possible.

Occident Mortal's picture

I agree.

Brits are an odd bunch, they can be supremely pissed off at you and yet they don't even tell you. They stay polite. You can nip them, poke them, push them and prod them and they don't do anything they just sit there and take it. Then one day, suddenly and without warning they're standing over your bed having just ripped your face off.

Britain is a country that can bottle up an extreme amount of motivation (or vendetta) so much so that when they act on it, they generally go much further and much harder than anyone imagined. Brits have a history of enormous overreach.

Brexit is only really the beginning of such a mood swing. I don't think the EU understands Britain at all. I don't think most of the people in London understand Britain. The other 90% of the country is quietly smouldering with cold rage. It's a fucking volcano, lots of extreme political ideas are simmering in the minds of the electorate.


Trigger it and the Brits will gladly burn through their own treasure and blood to destory their antagonists. They won't stop there either, if provoked they would tear down the EU so they can piss on the ashes, only to then dry out the ashes in the hot sun so they can pour petrol on them and burn them a second time.

You get the idea.

OverTheHedge's picture

I take it you married a sweet English Rose, once upon a time?

The Alarmist's picture

Thought he was going to get a stern talking to, but she got the house ....

Brussels is like that guy or gal we all hate, who orders the most expensive wine, appetisers, main, and desserts and then suggest splitting the cheque evenly.

Déjà view's picture

Boris will exit stage promised land...

Axis: Washington-Tel Aviv-London...

philipat's picture

So it's a bit like the US really? Just with different issues to trigger the revolt?

Déjà view's picture


1 EUROPEAN UNION $387,100,000,000 2016 EST.
198 UNITED KINGDOM -$114,500,000,000 2016 EST.

198 ranking liability soon becomes additional surplus credited to ranking 1

Continue to be very subservient to Chicom capital...

BarkingCat's picture

Those Brits are a minority now.

Over 2 decades of intense PC cultural propaganda as well as importing 3rd world human garbage changed the fabric of the nation.

I am torn as I despise the EU and UK.  

I guess I will pick the UK because their successful departure can implode the EU.

Hopefully the Visegrad 4 will exit next and take the rest of the Eastern Europe with them before being poluted by EU's suicidal migration policies. 

waspwench's picture

Sadly, I agree with you, there has been massive damage to the British, however, it's not over until it's over.   And it ain't over yet.

waspwench's picture

It was not part of their blood, 

 It came to them very late

With long arrears to make good,

 When the English began to hate.


They were not easily moved,

 They were icy-willing to wait.

Till every count should be proved,

 Ere the English began to hate.


Their voices were even and low

 Their eyes were level and straight.

There was neither sign nor show,

 When the English began to hate.


It was not preached to the crowd,

 It was not taught by the State.

No man spoke it aloud,

 When the English began to hate.


It was not suddenly bred,

 It will not swiftly abate,

Through the chill years ahead,

 When Time shall count from the date

 That the English began to hate.       

Kipling (as usual, says it best)                                              




















Doom and Dust's picture

The English only hate for a cause. Thanks Rudyard. They can do no wrong, we knew that.

Hope his words warm your post-Brexit nights 'cross the foggy sea. By the way, how 'bout the Scots keeping your puny Kingdom together? They won't go in  that night without a proper fight. They're not like you.

waspwench's picture

There is absolutely no way that the EU will ever negotiate reasonable exit terms, so Braitain may as well stop wasting time and money on this circus.

Britain has no choice other than a hard Brexit.   The only thing we can do is to leave without a negotiated settlement.   Once outside we can negotiate with individual countries as a sovereign nation.

Let's just get on with it and get it over with.   The sooner we are free the sooner we can begin to rebuild the country.

Doom and Dust's picture

No need for an army. Just wait and watch the pound crash, lorries pile up at Dover, airlines not take bookings etc.

They'll be back begging. Won't find much sympathy of course. 

philipat's picture

You are a fucking moron...

sandman3365's picture

Youre joking, right? The pound was always better than any european currency. UK dont need to support anymore Greece, Italy, Spain, etc. Europe does! Now, you can dream away, or you can wake up. Its up to you.

SoDamnMad's picture

Germany wants everyone to buy their inexpensive (thanks to the EU) goods and get the UK to foot the bill for the southern members AND the new immigrants (cough, cough) they have welcomed into everyone's houses. 

silverer's picture

So the EU has propped up England since when? 1536? Or was it 1664?

HowdyDoody's picture

And the UK has F-35s - in 3 years - maybe.


Lockesmith's picture

Buying PM and Bitcoin is shorting the Euro, dipshit.

doctor10's picture

The EU has always been an illusion-its union was only by virtue of cheap debt and "clever" accounting. Little real utility with the consequent expected integrity justifying the whole process.

If the process was truly organic it would have happened long ago

OverTheHedge's picture

The EU originally was created as a steel and coal monopoly. It has rather kept the  mentality of a monopolistic, monolithic and entirely undemocratic system. Ghordius may show up to explain why this would be a good thing, but he might be busy. (He may be involved with the negotiations, which is why we haven't heard from him for a while).

BarkingCat's picture

So I am not alone here suspecting that he is actually involved in the EU.

rmopf2010's picture

Nuke Brussels that should solve the problem ! lmao

Expat's picture

Go ahead.  LOL.  Stand alone.  England is practically a third-world country when you leave London.  Much of London is old and decrepit.  Fucking plumbing and electricity is shambolic.  England will fade away as Europe continues on its firm economic and social path.

Sandmann's picture

You should try plumbing and electrics in German buildings -- go visit a few schools and universities --- try looking at motorway bridges, railway track.......Germany is corroding fast

Mr 9x19's picture

oh please come france, 1970 buildings with lead plumbing, single thick glass windows, etc... lovely 20th century.

i will go orlov style, build cheap boat and gtfo of this fucking EU, ASAP


The Alarmist's picture

But both DE and FR have plenty of well-fed, well clothed recent arrivals with flashy mobiles that have the best data plans ... who needs stinkin infrastructure?

webmatex's picture

Watch out for the boats coming the other way then!

OverTheHedge's picture

As someone who lives in a practically third-world country, I can confirm that the UK is actually the height of new, shiny and organised. You have no idea what shambolic means, if you think the UK is disorganised.

Regarding the plumbing and electrics, there are a lot of legacy buildings, from a time before indoor plumbing, let alone electrickery. For example, I grew up in a very unassuming farm-house, in the disreputable end of Cornwall. The house is significantly older than the USA, all the other colonies etc. It is older than quite a lot of European countries. It is just a house, and the plumbing is tricky, because rooms were not designed to be bathrooms 700 years ago. The electrics are all on show, because you can't really chase cables in to granite stne walls. It has been there for quite some time, and will be there for more, with or without help from North Korea and war-mongering loonies. It is in a Radon gas area, so it is already radioactive. As I said, it's just a house. Not a McMansion.


Lockesmith's picture

If it's such a basket case, Brussel should have no rpoblemssaying adieu, no?

Vigilante's picture

lmao...Blighty had been negotiating with the Ya-Ya-Ray for decades despite assurances to the contrary

tacoman's picture

We just walk - simple. The UK has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, we should stick to it.

HowdyDoody's picture

"The UK has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists"

That would be the UK that helped trained ISIS/Deash/whatever in Libya, Turkey and Jordan, and up to recently had its troops protecting them in Syria. The UK that largely funds the terrorist PR outfit known as the White Helmets. The UK that can't send enough weapons to Saudi Arabia to help them ethnically cleanse Yemen. That UK?

Perfidious Albion it is and always will be.



Robert Trip's picture


_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

zz zz zz zz zzzzeee motherfucking z. This guy is serious about the letter z.

Doom and Dust's picture

That bill is stump change in the bigger Brexit picture. Thousands of high end jobs are arriving on the Continent. Where I live headhunters are running wild trying to fill them all.

Brexit is a massive own goal and I do hope the EU shafts the UK hard as it can. It holds all the cards and Britain's been caught bluffing like varoufuckingvakis. 

Cue the shakedown of the century.

absente reo's picture

Stump change?  

Ha ha ha. 


Doom and Dust's picture

Say $60bn over 5 years. That is stump change you moron. The German economy grew by that amount just last year.

I may be an idiot but I secured a nice pay increase on the back of your Brexit. Thank you! 

Now bugger off begone.