A former Brexit minister has said the formula Theresa May has agreed with the EU for calculating the UK’s supposed liabilities could result in a bill as high as £100 billion.
David Jones MP, who led the Welsh arm of the Vote Leave group and was Minister of State at David Davis’s Department for Exiting the European until the June 2017 snap election, when the Prime Minister replaced him with Remain supporter Baroness Anelay, criticised the concession in a Mail on Sunday article.
Jones warned of “mounting concern” among “those of us who want to honour the referendum result” that an “EU sellout” is now in the works.
“[L]ying in the heart of this agreement are provisions that could make a nonsense of a real Brexit,” explained the former Cabinet minister.
Cabinet Remainers ‘Delighted’ with Brexit Deal, EU Prez Brags UK Will Be Powerless During ‘Transition Period’ https://t.co/8vqqsA2JQP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 8, 2017
“‘Government sources’ were quoted saying the price tag was likely to be £39 billion – down from an earlier-reported £50 billion,” he pointed out.
“However, the deal document contains no such precise figure, reduced or otherwise. What it does contain is a set of highly technical mechanisms we would have to follow to work out the eventual Brexit cost to the UK. And those mechanisms could land us with a bill, on some estimates, of as much as £100 billion – a figure EU sources were touting earlier this year.”
Indeed, reports prior to the announcement of the agreement suggested that its text was being designed so a “low figure” could be sold to the British public, while the EU was given private assurances that the final sum would be “in excess of €50bn”.
The last line of 49 reveals the fudge: we're leaving in name only, folks! pic.twitter.com/sIvzeHBER0
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) December 8, 2017
Jones also raised concerns about the undertaking to continue “full regulatory alignment” with the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union in order to maintain a ‘soft’ border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, as this could prevent Britain from pursuing its own regulatory agenda or independent trade policy.
“The phrase [regulatory alignment] may have come out of nowhere but it is certainly going somewhere – blocking Brexit,” he said, suggesting the lucrative Brexit trade deal between the United Kingdom and the United States proposed by President Donald Trump will get nowhere “if we kick off by ruling out importing a huge array of American products because they don’t comply with rules made by Brussels bureaucrats”.
Trump Ambassador: 'We Stand with UK Through Brexit, Always at the Front of the Line' https://t.co/odnh2lSFYy
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) September 13, 2017
“The whole point of Brexit is that we make our own rules, in our own national interest,” Jones reminded readers.
“If we stay shackled to EU regulations, Liam Fox and his Department of International Trade might as well pack up and go home,” he added.