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Chatham House, London: In her final speech as UK Prime Minister, Theresa May says she sees “grounds for serious concern” about politics in the UK and around the world
This will most likely be the last time I will speak at length as Prime Minister and I would like today to share some personal reflections on the state of politics in our country and around the world.
I have lived politics for half a century. From stuffing envelopes for my local party in my school years to serving as a local councillor, fighting a by-election, winning a seat, to serving for 12 years on the opposition front bench, and for nine years in the Cabinet as Home Secretary and Prime Minister.
Throughout that time, in every job I have done, I have been inspired by the enormous potential that working in politics and taking part in public life holds.
The potential to serve your country, to improve peoples’ lives, and – in however big or small a way – to make the world a better place.
Looking at our own country and the world of which we form a part, and there is great deal to feel optimistic about.
Globally, over the last 30 years extreme poverty and child mortality have both been halved.
Hundreds of millions of people are today living longer, happier and healthier lives than their grandparents could even have dreamed of.
As a world, we have never cared more deeply about the ecology of our planet’s environment.
From treating the earth as a collection of resources to be plundered, we have within a generation come to understand its fragile diversity and taken concerted action to conserve it.
The UK is leading the way in that effort with our commitment to net zero emissions.
Social attitudes in our country and many other western countries have transformed in recent decades.
There are more women in senior positions today than at any time in history.
When I was born, it was a crime to be a gay man, legal to discriminate on the basis of sex or race, and casual bigotry was a socially acceptable fact of daily life.
All that has changed – and greatly for the better.
There remains a long, long way to go to achieve what we should rightly seek – an economy, a society and a world that truly works for all of its people.
Where everyone has the security of a safe home and enough to eat; the opportunity to get a good education and a satisfying job to support their family; and the freedom of thought, speech and action to do and be everything their talents and hard work fit them for.
The generation of young people growing up today – in the UK and around the word – have it within their grasp to achieve more in the decades ahead than we today can imagine.
They will have the chance to harness the great drivers of change in the world today – from artificial intelligence and the data economy; cleaner forms of energy and more efficient modes of transport; to the technological and medical advances that will extend and improve our quality of life.
The twenty-first century has the potential to be a pivotal point in human history – when economic, social and technological progress reach a combined apogee with the benefits multiplied and with everyone enjoying a share.
It will not come about without effort.
We will all have to work hard – individually and collectively to reach that better future.
Crucially, the full power and potential of a small, but strong and strategic state must be brought to bear in that effort, establishing and maintaining the legal and economic structures that allow a regulated free market to flourish.
Co-ordinating its own interventions to maximum effect – supporting science and innovation, supplying crucial public services and infrastructure, leading and responding to social progress.
At our best, that has been the story of the democratic century that we celebrated last year when we marked the first votes for women and working men in 1918.
It has been democratic politics, an open market economy and the enduring values of free speech, the rule of law and a system of government founded on the concept of inviolable human rights that has provided the nexus of that progress in the past.
And a healthy body politic will be essential to consolidating and extending that progress in the future.
It is on that score that today we do have grounds for serious concern. Both domestically and internationally, in substance and in tone, I am worried about the state of politics.
That worry stems from a conviction that the values on which all of our successes have been founded cannot be taken for granted.
They may look to us as old as the hills, we might think that they will always be there, but establishing the superiority of those values over the alternatives was the hard work of centuries of sacrifice.
And to ensure that liberal inheritance can endure for generations to come, we today have a responsibility to be active in conserving it.
If we do not, we will all pay the price – rich and poor, strong and weak, powerful and powerless.
As a politician, my decisions and actions have always been guided by that conviction.
It used to be asked of applicants at Conservative candidate selection meetings, ‘are you a conviction politician or are you a pragmatist’?
I have never accepted the distinction.
Politics is the business of turning your convictions into reality to improve the lives of the people you serve.
As a Conservative, I have never had any doubt about what I believe in – security, freedom and opportunity. Decency, moderation, patriotism. Conserving what is of value, but never shying away from change. Indeed, recognising that often change is the way to conserve. Believing in business but holding businesses to account if they break the rules. Backing ambition, aspiration and hard work. Protecting our Union of nations – and being prepared to act in its interest even if that means steering a difficult political course.
And remaining always firmly rooted in the common ground of politics – where all great political parties should be.
I didn’t write about those convictions in pamphlets or make many theoretical speeches about them.
I have sought to put them into action.
And actually getting things done rather than simply getting them said requires some qualities that have become unfashionable of late.
One of them is a willingness to compromise. That does not mean compromising your values.
It does not mean accepting the lowest common denominator or clinging to outmoded ideas out of apathy or fear.
It means being driven by, and when necessary standing up for, your values and convictions.
But doing so in the real world – in the arena of public life – where others are making their own case, pursuing their own interests.
And where persuasion, teamwork and a willingness to make mutual concessions are needed to achieve an optimal outcome.
That is politics at its best.
The alternative is a politics of winners and losers, of absolutes and of perpetual strife – and that threatens us all.
Today an inability to combine principles with pragmatism and make a compromise when required seems to have driven our whole political discourse down the wrong path.
It has led to what is in effect a form of “absolutism” – one which believes that if you simply assert your view loud enough and long enough you will get your way in the end. Or that mobilising your own faction is more important than bringing others with you.
This is coarsening our public debate. Some are losing the ability to disagree without demeaning the views of others.
Online, technology allows people to express their anger and anxiety without filter or accountability. Aggressive assertions are made without regard to the facts or the complexities of an issue, in an environment where the most extreme views tend to be the most noticed.
This descent of our debate into rancour and tribal bitterness – and in some cases even vile abuse at a criminal level – is corrosive for the democratic values which we should all be seeking to uphold. It risks closing down the space for reasoned debate and subverting the principle of freedom of speech.
And this does not just create an unpleasant environment. Words have consequences – and ill words that go unchallenged are the first step on a continuum towards ill deeds – towards a much darker place where hatred and prejudice drive not only what people say but also what they do.
This absolutism is not confined to British politics. It festers in politics all across the world. We see it in the rise of political parties on the far left and far right in Europe and beyond. And we see it in the increasingly adversarial nature of international relations, which some view as a zero sum game where one country can only gain if others lose. And where power, unconstrained by rules, is the only currency of value.
This absolutism at home and abroad is the opposite of politics at its best. It refuses to accept that other points of view are reasonable. It ascribes bad motives to those taking those different views.
And it views anything less than 100 per cent of what you want all the time as evidence of failure, when success in fact means achieving the optimum outcome in any given circumstance.
The sustainability of modern politics derives not from an uncompromising absolutism but rather through the painstaking marking out of a common ground.
That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles – far from it. It means delivering on them with the consent of people on all sides of the debate, so they can ultimately accept the legitimacy of what is being done, even if it may not be the outcome they would initially have preferred.
That is how social progress and international agreement was forged in the years after the Second World War – both at home with the establishment of an enduring National Health Service and, internationally, with the creation of an international order based on agreed rules and multilateral institutions.
Consider, for example, the story of the NHS. The Beveridge Report was commissioned by a Coalition Government.
The Health Minister who published the first White Paper outlining the principles of a comprehensive and free health service was a Conservative.
A Labour Government then created the NHS – engaging in fierce controversy both with the doctors who would work for the NHS, and with a Conservative opposition in the House of Commons which supported the principles of an NHS, but disagreed with the methods.
But the story does not end there. Just three years after the NHS was founded, Churchill’s newly elected Conservative Government was faced with a choice, a choice between going back over old arguments or accepting the legitimacy of what had been done and building on it.
They chose to build on what had been established.
Today, because people were willing to compromise, we have an NHS to be proud of – an institution which unites our country.
Similarly, on the international stage, many of the agreements that underpinned the establishment of the rules-based international order in the aftermath of the Second World War were reached by pragmatism and compromise.
The San Francisco Conference, which adopted the United Nations Charter – the cornerstone of international law – almost broke down over Soviet insistence that the Security Council veto should apply not just to Council resolutions and decisions, but even to whether the Council should discuss a matter.
It was only a personal mission to Stalin in Moscow from US President Truman’s envoy Harry Hopkins that persuaded the Soviets to back down.
Many States who were not Permanent Members of the Security Council did not want the veto to exist at all. But they compromised and signed the Charter because of the bigger prize it represented – a global system which enfranchised the people of the world with new rights, until then only recognisable to citizens in countries like ours.
It’s easy now to assume that these landmark agreements which helped created the international order will always hold – that they are as permanent as the hills.
But turning ideals into practical agreements was hard fought. And we cannot be complacent about ensuring that they endure.
Indeed, the current failure to combine principles with pragmatism and compromise inevitably risks undermining them.
We are living through a period of profound change and insecurity. The forces of globalisation and the pursuit of free markets have brought unprecedented levels of wealth and opportunity for the country and for the world at large. But not everyone is reaping the benefits.
The march of technology is expanding the possibilities for humanity in ways that once could never have been conceived. But it is changing the nature of the workplace and the types of jobs that people will do. More and more working people are feeling anxious over whether they and their children and grandchildren will have the skills and the opportunities to get on.
And although the problems were building before the financial crisis, that event brought years of hardship from which we are only now emerging.
Populist movements have seized the opportunity to capitalise on that vacuum. They have embraced the politics of division; identifying the enemies to blame for our problems and offering apparently easy answers.
In doing so, they promote a polarised politics which views the world through the prism of “us” and “them” – a prism of winners and losers, which views compromise and cooperation through international institutions as signs of weakness not strength.
President Putin expressed this sentiment clearly on the eve of the G20 summit in Japan, when he said that the “liberal idea has become obsolete”…because it has “come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.”
This is a cynical falsehood. No one comparing the quality of life or economic success of liberal democracies like the UK, France and Germany to that of the Russian Federation would conclude that our system is obsolete. But the fact that he feels emboldened to utter it today indicates the challenge we face as we seek to defend our values.
So if we are to stand up for these values that are fundamental to our way of life, we need to rebuild support for them by addressing people’s legitimate concerns through actual solutions that can command public consent, rather than populist promises that in the end are not solutions at all.
In doing so, we need to show that, from the local to the global, a politics of pragmatic conviction that is unafraid of compromise and co-operation is the best way in which politics can sustainably meet the challenges we face.
Take the example of how we address some of the concerns and fears over globalisation.
[Political content removed].
But we know it is free and competitive markets that drive the innovation, creativity and risk-taking that have enabled so many of the great advances of our time. We know it is business that pioneers the industries of the future, secures the investment on which that future depends, and creates jobs and livelihoods for families up and down our country.
And we know that free enterprise can also play a crucial role in helping to meet some of the greatest social challenges of our time – from contributing to the sustainability of our planet to generating new growth and new hope in areas of our country that have been left behind for too long.
But you do not protect the concept of free market capitalism by failing to respond to the legitimate concerns of those who are not feeling its full benefits. You protect free market capitalism and all the benefits it can bring by reforming it so that it works for everyone.
That is why I have introduced reforms to working practice and workers’ rights to reflect the changes in our economy. It is why I launched the Taylor Review into modern forms of employment like the gig economy – and why we are delivering the biggest improvements in UK workers’ rights for twenty years in response to it.
It is why I have advanced changes in corporate governance – because business must not only be about commercial success but about bringing wider benefits to the whole of our society too.
And it is why we have put in place a Modern Industrial Strategy – a strategic partnership between business and government to make the long-term decisions that will ensure the success of our economy. But crucially, a strategy to ensure that as we develop the industries of the future, so the benefits of the trade and growth they will give rise to will reach working people – not just in some parts of the country, but in every part of our country.
These are steps rooted in my Conservative political convictions. They are not a rejection of free enterprise. But rather they are the very way to restore the popular legitimacy of free enterprise and make it work for everyone.
I believe that taking such an approach is also how we resolve the Brexit impasse.
The only way to do so is to deliver on the outcome of the vote in 2016. And there is no greater regret for me than that I could not do so.
But whatever path we take must be sustainable for the long-term – so that delivering Brexit brings our country back together.
That has to mean some kind of compromise.
Some argue I should have taken the United Kingdom out of the European Union with no deal on 29th March. Some wanted a purer version of Brexit. Others to find a way of stopping it altogether.
But most people across our country had a preference for getting it done with a deal. And I believe the strength of the deal I negotiated was that it delivered on the vote of the referendum to leave the European Union, while also responding to the concerns of those who had voted to remain.
The problem was that when it came time for Parliament to ratify the deal, our politics retreated back into its binary pre-referendum positions – a winner takes all approach to leaving or remaining.
And when opinions have become polarised – and driven by ideology – it becomes incredibly hard for a compromise to become a rallying point.
The spirit of compromise in the common interest is also crucial in meeting some of the greatest global challenges of our time – from responsibly harnessing the huge potential of digital technology to tackling climate change; and from preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons to upholding and strengthening international rules in the face of hostile states.
During my premiership, the UK has led the way both domestically and internationally in seeking a new settlement which ensures the internet remains a driver of growth and opportunity – but also that internet companies respond more comprehensively to reasonable and legitimate demands that they take their wider responsibilities to society more seriously.
That is why we are legislating in the UK to create a legal duty of care on internet companies, backed up by an independent regulator with the power to enforce its decisions.
We are the first country to put forward such a comprehensive approach, but it is not enough to act alone.
Ultimately we need a realistic global approach that achieves the right balance between protecting the individual freedoms of those using the internet – while also keeping them safe from harm.
That also holds the key to further progress in the fight to protect our planet.
Here in the UK we have recently built on the 2008 Climate Change Act by becoming the first major economy to agree a landmark net zero target that will end our contribution to climate change by 2050.
Of course, there were some who wanted us not just to make that net zero commitment but to bring it forward even earlier. And there are others who still question the science of climate change or the economic costs of tackling it.
But we were able to come together to agree a target that is supported across the political spectrum, across business and civil society – and which is both ambitious and also deliverable.
Just as the nations of the world were able to come together and agree the historic Paris Agreement of 2015, a settlement which if unravelled would damage us all and our planet.
And just as we seek to protect the hard fought Paris Climate Agreement, so I also believe we must protect the similarly hard fought JCPOA – the nuclear deal with Iran, whatever its challenges.
Once again it took painstaking pragmatism and compromise to strike that deal.
Of course, there are those who fear a reduction in sanctions on a country that continues to pursue destabilising activity across the region, and we should address that activity head on.
But whether we like it or not a compromise deal remains the best way to get the outcome we all still ultimately seek – to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and to preserve the stability of the region.
Being prepared to compromise also means knowing when not to compromise – and when our values are under threat we must always be willing to stand firm. Just as we did when Russia deployed a deadly nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury, and I led international action across the world to expel more than 100 Russian intelligence officers – the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.
We are here today at St James’ Square – the location from which Dwight Eisenhower led the planning for D-Day. And it was standing on the beaches of Normandy with other world leaders last month – remembering together all that was given in defence of our liberty and our values – that most inspired me to come here today to give this speech.
Eisenhower once wrote: “People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable…Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”
I believe that seeking the common ground and being prepared to make compromises in order to make progress does not entail a rejection of our values and convictions by one iota, rather it is precisely the way to defend them.
Not by making promises you cannot keep, or by just telling people what you think they want to hear. But by addressing the concerns people genuinely hold and showing that co-operation not absolutism is the only way to deliver for everyone.
For the future, if we can recapture the spirit of common purpose – as I believe we must – then we can be optimistic about what together we can achieve.
We can find the common ground that will enable us to forge new, innovative global agreements on the most crucial challenges of our time – from protecting our planet to harnessing the power of technology for good.
We can renew popular support for liberal democratic values and international co-operation.
And in so doing, we can secure our freedom, our prosperity and our ability to live together peacefully now and for generations to come.
- Delivered on: July 17, 2019 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
- Published on 17 July 2019. Transcript courtesy of gov.uk
The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled for May 5, 2022 and many are beginning to wonder whether Brexit will be completed by that date.
Of course, with a new Prime Minister at the helm starting July 23, 2019 there is the chance that injecting new blood into the ongoing Brexit debacle will finally get the UK over the line and at long last(!) allow the country to become all that it can and should be.
After 3-years of economic uncertainty that’s caused harm to the UK economy and to the other economies depending on a strong British economy (such as the Republic of Ireland) it will be refreshing to know that restoring the UK economy to the roaring lion it once was is on the horizon. And that’s a good thing.
Let’s Talk About the Benefits of Brexit for a Moment
With the passage of time, some Brexit benefits may have faded in the minds of some. Hey, you’re busy people and you’ve got lots on your mind, so let’s refresh, shall we?
- The UK will be able to sign as many free trade deals as it likes. Many countries including the Commonwealth of Nations countries, the USA, the CPTPP countries and more have all said they’d like free trading arrangements with the UK. Also, the African Union, MERCOSUR (an Atlantic Ocean-facing South American trade bloc) and the Pacific Alliance (a South American trade bloc fronting the Pacific Ocean) want trade deals with the UK in the immediate post-Brexit timeframe. GCC countries too, have expressed an interest in improved UK trade. Impressive, as those countries in totality represent about 4.5 billion citizens. And if you’re a moneygrubber like me, you don’t think of those people so much as ‘citizens’ of those countries, you think of them as ‘potential consumers’ of UK products and services. Hehe. (But if ‘we’ don’t fill their orders — then ‘some other country’ will) Consequently, if UK GDP doesn’t subsequently improve by £1 trillion within 5-years, Britain’s business community is doing it all wrong. Get used to seeing UK exporters selling record amounts of goods and services due to the new trade opportunities presented by Brexit.
- The UK will again control who is allowed to enter the country and be able (and allowed!) to properly police its borders in the same way that every normal country in the world polices their borders. At this point, the UK border force and the country’s police and security services have some rather large gaps in their information — as to who’s in or out of the country — due to the EU’s lax (irresponsible?) border and immigration policies. Commonwealth nations stand to gain the most from Brexit as many of them are rapidly developing nations whose young people may enjoy gaining streamlined access to seasonal work visas, returning home at the end of each season with some hard-earned cash in hand and a newfound appreciation for the opportunities the UK affords decent and hardworking Commonwealth citizens.
- The UK will again be in full control of its own laws and its courts. And no longer will a situation exist where the UK surrendered some of its hard-won sovereignty to a foreign power — which is expressly forbidden under the UK’s constitutional framework by the way. What kind of politicians would willingly surrender the sovereignty of their own country to a foreign power, and an economic competitor power at that? None! (Well, none… other than the pollyanna, globalist, snowflake generation of British politicians in power when the UK joined the European Union. And all of it done without the benefit of a referendum until 23-years later) Shameful in the extreme! Heads should roll. They won’t. They should. But as long as it gets straightened out before the next UK general election I’m fine with letting bygones be bygones.
- The UK will no longer pay an average net payment of £10 billion per year to the EU. Over 10-years that’s £100 billion (not £100 million, but billion!) Who could’ve negotiated such a deal? Only British-hating UK negotiators, that’s who.
- Cheaper food for UK consumers and a wider selection of goods from which to choose in the shops. This will occur due to the huge economies of scale of the North American marketplace and via the competition inherent within the EU marketplace, and from goods and services sourced from other continents.
- UK universities full and expanding due to higher enrolment from new free trade partner countries. And increased employment opportunities for British educators at UK universities is just one more benefit of Brexit.
- UK tourism operators will experience record year-on-year numbers as citizens from new trading partners become interested in the UK. For one example, if your Commonwealth son or daughter is working or studying in the UK, chances are you’ll end up in the UK at the holidays for a visit. And that’s good for UK tourism.
- UK hospitals will earn billions as patients from new trade partner countries travel to the UK for treatment. NHS expertise is highly respected around the world and Medical Doctors in other nations that have free trade agreements with the UK may have the option to send their patients to the UK for treatment. Billions that could be earned by the NHS are presently missed because no one is looking at this great cash-cow which could re-energize NHS budgets to a very high degree.
- The UK could dedicate its foreign aid spending to Commonwealth of Nations countries exclusively and keep the money in the family so to speak. The problem with foreign aid spending (as noble as it is for rich countries to help developing nations) is that once it’s spent, the UK will never see any benefit in return from such spending as the number of people who know which foreign aid donor funded this or that project in their nation is very small. Sometimes only a handful of people are in the know. But if the UK decided to spend their entire foreign aid budget in Commonwealth nations exclusively, the UK would become known as a major financier in their projects (projects that create much-needed jobs for citizens in developing nations) and the UK would gain recognition as a force for good in that country. PR like that you can’t buy from a public relations firm! It’s called, ‘Brand Loyalty’. Thenceforth expect UK companies to export more goods to each of those countries as disposable income rises among their population.
- Abolishing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) “The CAP costs British taxpayers twice over – once through subsidies paid to farmers and twice by keeping food prices artificially high. OECD data suggests EU farm prices are around 5% above world prices and our estimates based on this data suggest UK consumers pay around £2billion per year in higher prices due to the CAP.” AND: Abolishing the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) “The UK fishing industry could potentially double in size after Brexit, as the UK takes full control of a natural resource which currently is mostly harvested by EU boats. Estimates by Napier (2018) and others suggest a rise in catch of up to £700m-800m per year which with positive supply chain effects could see a total boost to output of around £3bn per year – already offsetting a third of the possible trade losses.” — BrexitCentral
How’s That For a Few Benefits of the UK’s pending Brexit from the EU?
There are more benefits, of course. But for now, let’s agree that 3-years of Brexit dithering has cost the UK economy plenty and has negatively impacted countries whose economies depend on a healthy UK economy, and that it’s time for UK politicians to get their act together and deliver what ‘The People’ voted for in the June 23, 2016 referendum.
Whether you think ‘The People’ are right or wrong is wholly irrelevant. What matters, is democracy. And either the UK is a democratic nation or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways.
So, let’s decide right now to make a success of Brexit and just get on with it.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Prime Minister Theresa May suggested to EU leaders that, ‘in exchange for a bespoke Withdrawal Agreement AND a bespoke Trade Deal with the EU, the UK proposed paying £39 Billion to the EU.’
Now, we all knew that £9 Billion of that £39 Billion was to pay for the UK’s ongoing commitments to the EU — such as pension payment obligations, programmes that the UK had agreed to fund or partially fund, and for other miscellaneous fees, charges, and payments that aren’t under any dispute whatsoever.
Let me be clear. In no way is £9 Billion of the then-proposed £39 Billion under dispute. The UK will owe that amount to the EU upon leaving the bloc and I don’t think anyone wants the United Kingdom to shirk on its legitimate obligations to the EU. Certainly, no British politician has suggested that paying the £9 Billion is under dispute.
So when we’re talking about payments to the EU we need to keep in mind that the remaining £30 Billion of the total £39 Billion was discussed in the context of obtaining a bespoke Withdrawal Agreement and a bespoke Trade Deal.
Neither of which look likely to happen now, or ever.
Why then do wags continue to chunter-on about this proposed £39 Billion as if it’s a living, breathing thing that might actually be due and payable, or might actually occur, when it was only ever a proposal?
Without a Withdrawal Agreement and Trade Deal that works for the UK there was never an agreement to pay £39 Billion to the EU. Full Stop!
An aside to Jeremy Hunt; Of all people, stop talking about it as if it’s a thing. It’s not.
Without a bespoke Withdrawal Agreement that works for the UK, and without a bespoke Trade Deal that works for the UK, there was never an agreement to hand over £39 Billion of taxpayer money.
So, stop suggesting that its a thing already due and payable when the conditions to pay it are nowhere near being met, nor are ever likely to be met.
Again, there’s no dispute about paying the legitimate £9 Billion to the EU, as that’s an expected and approved expense and payment isn’t contingent upon receiving a reasonable Withdrawal Agreement, nor a reasonable Trade Deal with the EU.
But if the Conservatives think they’re unpopular in the polls now, just wait until they hand over £39 Billion of taxpayer money for no Withdrawal Agreement and no Trade Deal. The Conservatives might not form a government for the rest of the century!
Brexit THREAT: EU will ‘INSIST’ on getting Brexit £39 billion from UK even with NO DEAL (The Express)
If this amount gets paid (for no Withdrawal Agreement and no Trade Deal) imagine yourself watching Prime Minister’s Questions when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thunders from the despatch box in the House of Commons, ‘This week, Mr. Speaker, the government has paid yet another £28,846,153.84 for no Withdrawal Agreement and no Trade Deal. What was the government thinking?’ (That weekly amount assumes the £30 Billion would be pro rated over 1040 weeks, or 20-years)
Labour leaders could milk that cow until the end of the century.
Let’s hope that Conservatives stop thinking that £39 Billion is what the UK owes the EU and begins thinking about it as £30 Billion the EU must earn!
So, how can the EU earn £30 Billion from the UK?
By working out a satisfactory Withdrawal Agreement and a satisfactory Trade Deal. Otherwise, no £30 Billion. It couldn’t be simpler.