As I might have mentioned before the country is not facing a £40 billion Brexit bill. The actual bill for Brexit is zero.
Final bill for Brexit is £40bn, as EU demands £2bn more than expected
Cost would have been higher but Brussels owes the UK nearly £2bn for its previous share of fines imposed by the bloc
Britain’s final bill for leaving the EU is £40.8 billion, according to accounts filed in Brussels, a greater sum than previously forecast.
Officials had estimated the final cost would be £39 billion – £1.8 billion less than the EU amount contained in the EU’s consolidated budget report for 2020.
The final bill would have been higher, almost £43 billion, but Brussels owes the UK £1.8 billion for its share of fines imposed by the bloc before the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of last year.
Ministers believed the final Brexit bill would be less than £39 billion because the numerous Brexit extensions meant that the total was decreased thanks to the UK’s contributions to the EU Budget.
The Office for Budget Responsibility said in November there was about £25 billion left to pay by 2057. About £18 billion will be paid in the first five years, the BBC has reported.
Now put away all prejudice – either way – and think for a moment.
So, if we stayed in would we have to pay these sums? Yes, we would. The entire point of these sums is that they are contractual agreements connected with our membership. For example, do we have to make the pension payments for UK peeps who work in the bureaucracy? Yes. Would we have to pay them if we stayed in? Yes.
So, they’re not a bill for leaving, are they? The bill is just the crystallisation of what we would have had to pay if we had stayed.
We also aren’t running up further necessary contributions off into the future. Nor are we paying into the more general budget any more. So Brexit leads to a reduction in our payments to Brussels, no?
Another way to put this is that the £40 billion is the cost of staying in. Because we would have had to pay that – and more – if we had stayed.