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Hard Brexit Maths – Walking Away

By Colin LloydMarket OverviewMay 19, 2017 14:09
uk.investing.com/analysis/hard-brexit-maths-%E2%80%93-walking-away-200190203
Hard Brexit Maths – Walking Away
By Colin Lloyd   |  May 19, 2017 14:09
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  • The UK’s NIESR estimate the bill for Hard Brexit to the UK at EUR 66bln
  • I guesstimate the cost of Hard Brexit to the EU at EUR 62bln
  • Legal experts for both sides suggest UK obligations cease on Brexit
  • A free-trade deal with the EU may not begin until after March 2019

"How selfhood begins with a walking away", C Day Lewis

It has been estimated that if the UK accedes to EU demands for a further EUR 100bln in order to begin the process of establishing a bilateral trade deal with the EU post-Brexit, it will cost the UK economy 4.4% of GDP. According to estimates from the NIESR, to revert to WTO Most Favoured Nation terms (the Hard Brexit option) would only cost between -2.7% and -3.7% of GDP (EUR 61bln to EUR 84bln).

In January UK Prime Minister Theresa May stated:

No deal is better than a bad deal.

It looks, on this basis, as though the UK may indeed walk away from its purported EU obligations.

A more considered analysis from, the politically influential Brussels based thin-tank Bruegel – Divorce settlement or leaving the club? A breakdown of the Brexit bill – suggests a more modest final bill:

Depending on the scenario, the long-run net Brexit bill could range from €25.4 billion to €65.1 billion, possibly with a large upfront UK payment followed by significant EU reimbursements later.

This substantial price range is due to the way the UK’s share of liabilities is calculated. At 12% (the UK’s rebate-adjusted share of EU commitments) it is EUR 25.4bln. At 15.7% (the UK’s gross contributions without a rebate adjustment) it rises to EUR 65.1bln.

The House of Lords legal interpretationBrexit and the EU budget:

Article 50 provides for a ‘guillotine’ after two years if a withdrawal agreement is not reached unless all Member States, including the UK, agree to extend negotiations. Although there are competing interpretations, we conclude that if agreement is not reached, all EU law—including provisions concerning ongoing financial contributions and machinery for adjudication—will cease to apply, and the UK would be subject to no enforceable obligation to make any financial contribution at all.

This suggests all of the UK’s commitments to the EU are linked to membership. If that legal interpretation is correct, there would be no Brexit bill at the moment of departure. Apparently EU legal experts have arrived at similar conclusions. The Telegraph – €100bn Brexit bill is ‘legally impossible’ to enforce, European Commission’s own lawyers admit has more on this contentious subject.

To read the entire report, please click on the pdf below

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Hard Brexit Maths – Walking Away
 

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Hard Brexit Maths – Walking Away

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