Brexit: Making it count

Whilst the public remains largely in the dark over negotiations with the EU, specifically the details of where the fundamental issues lie, it is apparent that the size and acceptance of the UK’s exit bill remains a significant hurdle.

There is a widely held perception that this impasse may in part be due to the potential political fallout of acknowledging and accepting that such a large bill needs to be paid, in advance of getting agreement on a comprehensive trade deal.

It is time for the Government to win back public opinion through greater transparency. This entails explaining our position clearly, setting out those areas where we have no argument, alongside the ‘sticking points’ where we feel EU claims are unjustified or exaggerated. Explain the reasoning behind our position so we may all understand the nature of the difficulties that remain.

To support the Government in this task there would be real benefit in appointing a team, drawn from specialist fields outside of the political arena, be they from Industry, the Law, Finance or Academia, who can bring their skills to bear in debating the issues. A clearly defined set of objectives pursued by an identifiable specialist team, something tangible the Country can unite behind.

Understandably, one of the crucial factors in the discussion is the UK’s reluctance to agree to a bill in advance of reaching an accord over our future trading relations with the EU. If this obstacle cannot be overcome, we should seek to link the payment of any agreed liabilities to two important conditions:

* To the Nation’s ability to continue to derive benefit from the initiatives for which we are being asked to make a financial contribution.

* To the performance of the UK economy as a whole. We should require that sustained growth in our GDP over a five year period is a pre-cursor to any payments being made. After all it would be irresponsible of any government to commit billions in expenditure without linking these to the ability to pay.

In so doing, we would promote the likelihood of reaching an accord on trade whilst diminishing the risk of the UK being faced with a significant bill against the backdrop of a shrinking economy. An all too likely consequence in the event of a poor EU trade deal.

What’s your view? Join the EU debate.