We'll possibly never know quite what amount the government will hand over to the EU as settlement for Brexit as the payments may be spread over a period that the next two generations might still witness.
I'm not against the principle of paying to get what you want (in a political context as averse to any biblical connotation) - although the speculated €50-60 billion is eye wateringly larger than I'd have expected - if, and only if the agreement is conditional. News reports continue to suggest that this sum has no strings attached that favour Britain, only strings that favour the EU. Have we really capitulated in such an ignominious way, I wonder ? Our strings should be conditional upon not just a seat at the trade talks table but an assurance that the deal that is thrashed out will be as near to what Britain needs as is possible. No deal, no money. Simple.
Unfortunately, our negotiating team, being as vilified as they are, will no doubt settle for any terms just to get the whole thing over and done with - they never have been my favourite bunch and I really don't see them changing their spots now. 'Simple' just isn't in their mindset - complication, obscurity, muddle and unintelligible language personify our teams character and style. But we're probably too far down the road to Brussels now to shift our negotiating stance - though if there was a political will to change our style of negotiating and beef it up then I'm pretty sure the country would back it. Don't hold your breath though...
Perhaps we are now at that critical point where the country needs to decide upon a few things. First, are we really prepared to put the equivalent of 6-7 years full net EU contributions on the table to get a trade deal (of unknown worth) ? Second, do we want to have a legacy connection to the EU for years to come that will in all likelihood involve our acceptance of the ECJ's supremacy ? Third, are we so afraid of a no deal scenario for any just reasons ? Fourth, is it a bad thing that there will be a likely re-orientation of business interests that potentially move company's away from Britain when, on the flip side, we have a burgeoning technology sector that may well be the new golden game to invest in rather than dubious practice financial institutions ? And I'm sure there are many more questions to add to the list. The crux of the argument is that we are at a choice point in this whole, badly managed Brexit affair - we stay and pay and possibly get some sort of trade deal - or we opt out now, favour our opportunities outside of the EU, keep our much needed cash and sever our ties completely with the corrupt and somewhat superfluous EU.
For those who would argue that nothing is so simple, I would counter argue that it is, if you want it to be. It is just a matter of conviction, faith and a little courage to pack your bags and walk away. Nobody can forecast the pluses and minuses of staying or leaving but if we are going to leave and the EU demand a price tag that is so onerous, whatever else can be worse than that ? With our negotiating team, paying over the odds and settling for whatever should not be the choice; if the price is this onerous, I might just go and get myself a paddle and join any canoe that's heading away from the EU.
My best American friend, el Trumpo has been at it again. Tweeting away with video's of extreme right wing British splinter groups. Just what he hopes to achieve is, as usual, mired in fog. Having watched his press briefing on the recent North Korean missile launch and his ignorant and semi-illiterate burst of macho-Americana I'm not really inclined to delve further. The man is a buffoon, ignorant and quite a way up his own orifice. Can we not just ignore the idiot ?