The issue of the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU)is not a new one. The votes were counted last summer, leading to the shocking and unexpected prospect of one of Europe’s largest nations leaving the bloc.
Now, as the abdication slowly becomes reality, the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland face a heavy fee for their decision.
The EU is demanding the UK pays a fine before leaving the continental bloc.
Speaking before an audience of students at the University of Luxembourg on 13th of October, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made several bold statements about Brexit. He has blamed the long, drawn-out process on Theresa May’s government, and revealed the process is facing new challenges often.
“They are discovering, as we are, day after day new problems. That is the reason why this process will take longer than initially thought”
Juncker then compared Brexit to a patron walking out on their bar tab, causing laughter to echo throughout the lecture hall,
“If you are sitting in a bar and if you are ordering 28 beers and then suddenly some of your colleagues is leaving and is not paying that’s not feasible.”
The EU estimates the UK should pay between 60 and 100 billion Euros ($70-120 billion) before leaving. Theresa May’s government disagrees with this figure, and Juncker revealed the gulf in opinion in another statement,
“We can’t find for the time being a real compromise as far as the remaining financial commitments of the UK are concerned.”
EU leadership have a meeting scheduled for October 19-20, and again in mid-December, to discuss the Brexit payment, as well as other issues. For example, the border policy between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, once a source of contention during ‘The Troubles’, will also be discussed.
However, according to EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, the talks will not include discussion about the future EU-UK trade deal. Barnier revealed on Thursday the lack of progress the two sides have made recently.
“This week, however, the UK repeated that it was still not ready to spell out these commitments. On this question we have reached a state of deadlock which is very disturbing for thousands of project promoters in Europe and it’s disturbing also for taxpayers.”
The current date for the UK’s official exit from the continental bloc is March 29, 2019. It is yet unknown if the current contention between the two sides will affect this plan.
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