UK is already challenging Brussels over its Brexit divorce bill plans, David Davis has said as he laughed off concerns about Boris Johnson’s controversial suggestion the EU could “go whistle” if it makes “extortionate” demands.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the Foreign Secretary of arrogance and peers raised worries over how his comments will be received in the rest of the bloc.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested that the bill, which covers outstanding liabilities for programs which the UK signed up to as an EU member, as well as ongoing costs including staff pensions, could be around £50 billion, while unconfirmed reports have claimed it could reach almost twice that figure.
Davis said the British strategy on the divorce bill was “not to pay more than we need to” and will not accept the EU’s “first claim” without going through it line by line.
“There will be a process of challenge going on here and that will happen and has started already in the negotiated process to establish whether or not we believe in that particular case they have made a legally defensible argument or not,” he said.
Asked about Mr Johnson’s comments, the Brexit Secretary laughed before telling peers: “Bluntly, I wouldn’t worry. I mean you will have to get the Foreign Secretary here to explain his views if you really wanted to. I’m not going to comment on other ministers.”
Mr Davis told the European Union select committee that all of British newspapers are read in Brussels and they “take them, if anything, too seriously”.
“More importantly in the context of the 27, actually very little of what happens here percolates across.” The Foreign Secretary was responding in the House of Commons to questions over the proposed “divorce bill” which the UK is expected to receive next week as Brexit negotiations resume in Brussels.
Speaking outside the Commons chamber, Mr Corbyn said: “I think it is ridiculous for the Foreign Secretary to approach important and serious negotiations with that silly, arrogant language that he so often employs.”
“Treat people with respect and there’s a fair chance you will be treated with respect in return. If you start on the basis of those silly remarks, what kind of response does he expect to get?”
Mr Corbyn is due to meet the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels on Thursday, to set out his party’s approach to Brexit and hold “exploratory discussions” about the negotiations ahead.
He said Labour would “pay what we are legally required to pay”, but nothing beyond that. “We have to negotiate intelligently and sensibly, but above all negotiate with respect and expect to be respected in return,” said Mr. Corbyn.
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An arrogant English politician. What is next Mercopress, Breaking news: birds have feathers...?Jul 12th, 2017 - 05:37 pm 0
If say you were trying to get a contract from a client, would you badmouth them to their friends?
To be fair, the British have never engaged in negotiations on anything. It is my way or the highway... So did the UK manage to subjugate dozens of stone-age tribal islands splattered about the Globus, and the occasional Ireland or India. No negotiations with those people's, just red-blooded conquest. And occasionally liberation (Falklands War).
Conversely it also was shown the highway on a few occasions, the humiliating defeats in 1782 in North America, 1806/7 in the Rio de la Plata, and Suez in 1957. Soon to add here the Brussels negotiations of 2017/8.
The common thread was, in victory or defeat, that the UK never actually considered diplomacy. Compromise is not something British governments are capable of. It is all part of this sickness of Anglo supremacism: how can you compromise when you think your worldview is superior and automatically right, and all others should imitate you? That is what Americans and English have been brainwashed into believe for the last century, aided by their belief that English as lingua franca is proof of this (it is not any more proof than French or Latin in the past having been lingua francas).
Who cares what they think, our MPS should be focusing on the UK and ensuring that WE get the best deal , not the EU.Jul 12th, 2017 - 09:11 am -1
@ConquerorJul 12th, 2017 - 10:57 pm -1
The UK is a sovereign, independent nation now, and always has been. That is why we could leave the EU simply by declaring that we wanted to, but eg California cannot leave the USA unless the federal government allows it.
Do you know why people in the US were opposed to the TPP? One of the reasons was that it allowed foreign investors to sue the government for introducing legislation that harms their investment. This is standard for trade deals. How does that affect your 'sovereignty'?
As for those 178 other potential clients, if I was thinking of becoming one, I would look at how you treated the first. Whether you stuck to your agreements, whether you were willing to compromise. It would certainly affect the terms I offered. Also, are you planning to treat each one the same way? We don't need you, there are another 177 out there...176...175... Also don't forget the 'little' EU is the biggest economy in the world, and includes every single one of our neighbours. Geography is a powerful force in trade.
Learn some history. Britain has engaged in plenty of negotiations and diplomacy. You obviously have no idea how Britain took over India, do Sepoys ring a bell? We didn't get allies without diplomacy, and contrary to your belief, most wars in history ended with a negotiated peace treaty.
The UK government has compromised many times, even if certain idiots↑ prefer to forget it. Unfortunately Brexit has brought out the less intelligent nationalists.