So, how much should we pay?
What is the price of the Danegeld ?
Theresa May is edging towards her final figure of £30bn over 5 years. £6bn a year until exit and, some £1-2bn for whatever deal the Uk has ongoing.
Mr Barnier is edging towards £50b. £10bn a year for 5 years
Does either really matter? The cost of bailing out the UK banks in 2008 was £850bn.
HS2 is currently set for £56bn. And will cost much more than that by the time its done.
Just putting in smart motorway signs at J3 of the M4 cost £1 billion.
Its small beer. Really, it is.
Like an unhinged spouse whatever we pay in the end will be worth it just to be rid of them.
So although the EU is deliberately trying to make the UK appear weak and defeated. That it is encouraging, even ordering, its Irish member to kick off inconveniently and blaming the UK for the EU's failings to move talks along like grown ups.
Whatever we pay is worth it isn't it?
Because the alternative is to go down the same irrational, destructive, bitter route that the EU wants to pursue. Today they are threatening to withhold our £5bn rebate.
We could match, like for like. And then go Bunny Boiler loco as well.
Threaten to -
- Cease all EU payments immediately
- Lower corporation tax to 2%
- Reduce VAT to 10%
- Consider our position in Nato
- Say that the divorce bill is a nonsense and our payments are zero
- Take EU citizens rights off the table. Say this will be the very last, not the first item on any agenda.
- Explain that the Irish border will be a yellow line on the road. If the EU want anything more, they can build it all, and impose it all, on their side.
- Refuse to attend any Brexit meetings until the Irish question is settled to our satisfaction.
- Explain we are heading for WTO. And will do nothing except possibly examine any proposals the EU has for something different. But every day will be a day towards WTO and our own economic survival.
And so on.
£50 bn to avoid all the grief?
Or, how much would you be prepared to pay them to escape?