The UK has no legal obligation to pay £50bn divorce bill

The UK has no legal obligation to pay £50bn divorce bill
 

The UK may not be obligated to pay £50bn Brexit Bill    

 
The May administration can easily walk out of EU without minding the £50 billion (€60 billion) divorce payment, a member of the upper house committee said. According to EU Financial Affairs Committee chair, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, the law itself clarifies that a country has no legal obligation to pay a single penny should no deal be struck after Article 50 parleys.
 
Falkner emphasized that the Vienna Convention states that a treaty termination means freeing all parties from all obligations (including monetary duties) to further perform the treaty. “We conclude that if (an) agreement is not reached, all EU law—including provisions concerning ongoing financial contributions—will cease to apply and the UK would be subject to no enforceable obligation to make any financial contribution at all,” she explained.  
 
However, she warned that resistance from the side of the government to pay any financial terms could result in future legal conundrums that would prohibit the country from obtaining trade access to the union. The comment came after EU reiterated that the UK is obligated to acquiesce. EU commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker even likened the Brits’ obstinate stance to “ailing leaving the pub without settling the tab for a round of drinks,” stressing that the UK is liable for the hefty bill as though paying a fine.
 
“The British will have to respect the commitments which they played a part in agreeing. Therefore the bill will be—to us a rather vulgar term—very salty. It will be necessary for the British to respect commitments which they freely entered into,” Juncker told the press. Political analysts believe that the negotiations will initially be centered on the financial aspect of the split, that certain topics must be tackled immediately to effortlessly switch to an EU-less UK, down the road. These are the following:
  • Will the already-agreed contributions to the EU budget be honored, and until when?
  • What are the specific programs the UK should pay to continue to participate in any EU programs?
  • Would the UK choose to pay for a single market access on a traditional basis?
 
Of course, there could be sanctions, and the EU can always take the matter to court. But Falkner herself could not pinpoint which international court has jurisdiction over the case. As per Theresa May, there have been feelers from her in various speeches that Britain can take a softer stance by agreeing to make appropriate payments to select programs. The good news is that the UK government—including those in the House of Lords—are willing to negotiate.  It will happen through tradeoffs depending on the levels of access sought by the UK and on the EU’s approval, as well as the payment terms and structure that would allow the UK to participate in the would-be agreements.
 
So what would this mean for immigration?
 
Now that the UK has decided that it will honor the referendum result, what it needs is a smooth transition to give way to the next important steps: drafting new economic and immigration policies outside of its usual European partners. However, until something is set in stone, the current immigration policies remain intact. 
 
For more questions about UK’s immigration policies or if you want to know more about how this might affect your visa application, speak to OISC Registered UK Migration Consultant. 
 
About Migration Expert:
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Interested in living, working, studying or traveling to Australia, Canada, the UK or the US? Contact Migration Expert, a widely recognized immigration consulting company. Visit our website at www.migrationexpert.co.uk or phone for a consultation with a Registered UK Migration Consultant at 011.44.203.100.5200Get more updates on UK Immigration by following us here. For more visa-related questions, speak to one of our OISC-registered UK migration consultants. 
 

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