Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Tories are loading the majority of the cost of the Brexit settlement onto non-Brexiters!


It's not immediately clear what the Tories have agreed to offer the EU because they keep insisting on conducting the Brexit negotiations in such an opaque and anti-democratic manner, but what is clear is that they're now accepting that accounting for 13% of the EU economy the UK has a responsibility cover 13% of the EU's debts and liabilities.

13% of the EU's debts and liabilities adds up to about 100 billion euros, but the Tories are trying to make it seem that the UK will pay a discounted rate of £40-£60 billion by offsetting other things against the cost. It looks like financial trickery, but it's hard to examine the detail, because the announcement doesn't come with a position paper outlining the details, it's been delivered in a cloud of rhetoric, speculation, and bitter condemnation from the hard Brexiteers.

The concept of the UK disowning their responsibilities and leaving the EU without covering their share of the debts and liabilities was always a politically illiterate fantasy. Just imagine the damage such a move would have done to the UK's national reputation. Not only would we be blundering chaotically out of the world's biggest trading bloc based on a referendum that was only called as a political gimmick for David Cameron to poach a few thousand UKIP votes with, but we'd be doing it in a way that demonstrated absolute contempt for our treaty obligations.

Just ask yourself which countries would ever sign a trade deal with post-Brexit Britain if we'd demonstrated our willingness to completely shaft our trade partners by walking away from our deal with them without even covering our costs. Nobody, that's who.

The right-wing Brexit extremists have continually tried to frame this financial settlement as an unconscionable outrage and a vindictive imposition by the EU, but in doing so they've only demonstrated that they're the clueless ideological extremists who are entirely unwilling to engage with the actual reality of the situation they've created.

They'll howl, and wail, and cry tears of delusional self-pity over this cost, but they're the ones who are responsible for delivering us this situation. They're the ones who toured around the country in a bus that claimed a £350 million per week benefit to quitting the EU without bothering to explain that any gains from quitting would be offset by the tens of billions we'd have to find to cover our share of the debts and liabilities.

After the post-Brexit collapse in the value of the pound, £100 billion euros worth of liabilities works out at £88.5 billion pounds.

£88.5 billion pounds divided by the 17.41 million Brexiters who voted to enable this chaotic Tory-administered Brexit farce works out at £5,080 worth of damage for every single one of them.

Perhaps fewer of them would have voted in favour of enabling an absolute shambles of a Tory-administered "let's make it up as we go along" Brexit if the Vote Leave bus would have had "Every single one of you muppets who believes our lies will cost the UK £5,000 apiece before we even get to leave the EU" emblazoned on the side.

The sad thing is that the bulk of this cost isn't even going to be borne by the Brexit voters at all. The way the Tories have proposed to stagger the payments decades into the future makes it clear that the younger generations who voted so strongly against Brexit, or didn't even get a chance to vote in the referendum, will cover much more of the cost, while the older demographics who enabled this shit show get to enjoy their retirements and die before the debt they created is ever actually paid off!

You couldn't really get a clearer example of Tory inter-generational warfare than making the young pay the cost of a decision taken by the largely by the old, but what else would you expect from a political party that has spent the last seven years using hard-right austerity dogma to force the poor and ordinary to cover the cost of a financial sector insolvency crisis that was caused by the recklessness, negligence, and downright criminality of the mega-rich?

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