EU Phase 1 Negotiation One Down and Two to Go?

As readers will know the three issues on which sufficient progress needs to be made before moving onto phase II are the “Divorce Bill”, EU citizens in the UK and visa versa and the Irish Border.

Of the three Progressive Pulse’s analysis as discussed in detail six days ago was that the “Divorce Bill” was  by far the easiest to settle and not to do so was a smokescreen.

… the EU simply sees the money in terms of a “bar bill” – a matter of settling existing accounts and totally decoupled from any talks on the future relationship.
….It is not looking for an exact figure. What it looks for however is agreement on the methodology for calculating the bill rather than some haggled fixed amount as if bidding over a carpet at a Turkish Bazaar.
….If the UK were simply to walk away, “no deal is better than a bad deal” would it damage the EU very badly? The answer is no. If the gap in the budget were filled simply by requiring contributions from the EU27 states to pay more to fill the hole according to GDP it would amount to less than 0.1% of GDP.

From the news this morning it seems that the UK has seen sense and has agreed to the EU’s approach in that it looks as if the methodology rather than a fixed figure has been approved.

This is very good news as one option discussed in the article of the 23rd was:

4) Is there a deliberate strategy to make the Brexit talks fail destructively to reap the rewards of “chaos capitalism” whilst simultaneously propagandising that it is a sensible way forward? Have the Mail, Sun and Telegraph fallen for this hook, line and sinker or more sinisterly are they part of this strategy?

Possibly The ERG, Atlantic Bridge and Legatum do not have total control of the steering wheel. For once there is good news. Even some of the right wing press are spinning this as a success from the UKs point of view eg. the Telegraph and Mail, but the Express has ‘No divorce bill’ May gets tough on EU and REJECTS €55 billion demand.


  1. Peter May -

    Yanis Varousakis makes some pertinent comments here.
    Apart from coining the phrase ‘a dog’s brexit’, which I thought was rather appropriate he pointed out that paying was inevitable if you want any sort of trade agreement in the future so suggesting it was a breakthrough was disingenuous!
    I don’t know why it’s taken six months to negotiate the inevitable -it’s an indication of how calamatous the whole thing is that we can regard resolving the bill as good news…

  2. Sean Danaher -

    Hi Peter
    Have looked at Yanis’s video and my immediate reaction:

    Regarding sequencing of talks David Alan Green made exactly the same point in the FT and his Jack of Kent blog.
    I’ve no idea why the UK either triggered article 50 when it did or agreed to the process.
    I suspect hubris and unconscious English exceptionalism egged on by idiots at Legatum and Atlantic Bridge played a major part; they thought it would be easy!

    Regarding “dogs Brexit” Alex Salmond used that term in Parliament about a year ago but it is a good one.

    Yanis is right about the EEA and Corbyn but the mad Brexiteers can’t believe their luck in winning the Referendum and know it will all fall apart soon so this is their only chance.

    I hope he is not right about the Eurozone and he is still rightly bitter regarding Greece. From a MMT perspective it needs radical reform.

    Ireland of course suffered badly but was structurally strong enough to pull through but the crisis would never have happened had the structures been better and the bankers heal to task rather than the taxpayers.

    Regarding Janis’s take on the UK’s industrial strategy I disagree completely. He was badly briefed in not condemning it as a smokescreen.

    We have a major post tomorrow from an Industrialist Mike Parr which is very critical so would love to see your comments tomorrow!

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