The UK government suffered initial shocks when a hung election decision left it weaker. Now, it faces internal appeasement problems and hard negotiations with EU alike. In a time like this, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tried to send a strong message. He said that EU can ‘go whistle’ if it wants an ‘extortionate’ payment from the UK upon leaving the bloc. Does that mean that the UK government is ready to face Brexit with a plan?
Is There Really a Plan?
Johnson said that there is ‘no plan’ by the government if they cannot secure a deal with the European Union. Note that PM Theresa May had previously said that she would prefer ‘no deal over a bad deal’. However, with the new parliament, her plans were ruined. If Theresa May had chosen no deal over a bad deal, was she not supposed to have an alternate plan for the country instead?
Johnson was vocal in calling out EU deals extortionate. While answering backbench MP Philip Hollobone, he aggressively suggested that UK is not ready to pay a large sum of money to the EU.
“The sums I have seen that they propose to demand from this country appear to be extortionate. Go whistle seems to me to be an entirely appropriate expression,” he said. The UK is clear about the fact that they do not want to pay a ‘penny piece more’ than what they have already paid as an EU member. This means that UK may not want to settle with a divorce payment deal to the EU.
Can There Really Be A ‘No Brexit Deal’?
The UK and EU will talk about a divorce settlement payment first off, before they begin talking about trade agreements. The EU may ask for as many as 100 billion euros from the UK. Even by conservative estimates, the payment should be at least 60 billion euros. Payment of this sum will be enough to cripple the UK economy, many of whose sectors are already facing the pressure of Brexit. The UK clearly wants to avoid such a payment, even in part. However, sources suggest that it would pay for all the ‘obligations’ it has towards the union.
When the two start talking, they will be at loggerheads about the payment. If the UK doesn’t get a deal, then they would likely not get a good trade agreement as well. Hence, both the economies would suffer. EU’s assets in UK, which can be claimed in part by the UK, will also be under threat. The two could likely end up in court if there is no deal.