UK cannot jeopardise negotiations with focus on €60bn ‘Brexit bill’ – Richmond

-   Senator Neale Richmond

In an engagement with the British Ambassador to Ireland at a meeting of the EU Affairs Committee meeting today (Tuesday), Senator Neale Richmond warned that the UK cannot jeopardise upcoming Brexit negotiations with a focus on the so called ‘Brexit bill’.

“As it stands, the UK is committed to making a range of payments into the European Union to cover many schemes and programmes from which they are due to benefit by 2020. Many in the UK’s Brexit media have portrayed these promised payments as a so called “Brexit bill” designed to punish the UK for leaving the EU.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth. The UK, voluntarily and in good faith, entered into agreements to make these payments and they cannot simply walk away from them when they are still liable to benefit from these payments in terms of Structural Funding, Horizon 2020, CAP, pensions and much more.

“Unfortunately there is a sinister element in both the UK’s political and media classes who seek to use this issue as a tactic to undermine the upcoming negotiation process so that it will collapse and leave only WTO agreements in place. Such an eventuality would be a disaster for all involved, particularly Ireland, and cannot be allowed to happen.

“The obsession with the so called “Brexit bill”, estimated at €60 billion, should be parked, and all other negotiations should continue in order to find common ground and ensure that the damage of Brexit is limited as much as possible.

“The people of Ireland and the rest of the EU did not ask for Brexit. Life post Brexit will not be as simple or as prosperous but we cannot allow vested, sinister, interests attempt to make things even worse.”

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