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‘No deal!’ Brexiteers blast Juncker for demanding £50billion divorce bill

BREXIT campaigners yesterday condemned European Union boss Jean-Claude Juncker for insisting that Britain will owe Brussels about £50billion to get out of the bloc.

He insisted it was not a “punishment” for deciding to leave, just the settling of UK commitments.Asked if claims were correct that the UK can expect a bill of around £50billion after Theresa May on Wednesday launches formal talks by invoking Article 50 of the EU treaties, Mr Juncker told the BBC: “It is around that – but that is not the main story.

“We have to calculate scientifically what the British commitments were and then the bill has to be paid.”The EU says the “divorce bill” covers liabilities for projects which the UK previously agreed to help fund, as well as pensions for officials who served during its membership.

He insisted: “There will be no sanctions, no punishment, nothing of that kind, but Britain has to know – and I suppose that the Government does know it – that they have to honour the commitments and the former commitments.”

We will negotiate in a friendly way, a fair way, and we are not naive

Jean-Claude Juncker

Mr Juncker subbed Britain’s Brexit vote “a failure and a tragedy” but added: “I am anything but in a hostile mood when it comes to Britain.“We will negotiate in a friendly way, a fair way, and we are not naive.”

He also made clear he shared Mrs May’s intention to make it a priority in talks to protect the status of EU nationals living in  Britain and British ex-pats on the Continent, stressing: “This is not about bargaining, this is about respecting human dignity.”

Conservative Member of the European Parliament David Campbell Bannerman, of Leave Means Leave, said: “Mr Juncker has plucked a figure of £50billion out of thin air and is demanding this before the negotiations have even started.

Jean-Claude Juncker and BrexiteersGETTY    Brexit campaigners condemned Jean-Claude Juncker


“No deal! No club bills a departing member for future investment.”As the second largest contributor to the EU, Britain has paid quite enough to Brussels – £380billion net is the combined figure. These unelected bureaucrats need to accept that the British taxpayer is not some sort of money tree.

“The bigger question is, as the EU has more than £130billion of assets, how much do they owe Britain? What buildings and monies must be returned to the UK Treasury?”

Brexit-backing Tory MP Philip Davies said: “When a partnership is dissolved, it is common for the partners to divide the assets.

Jean-Claude Juncker talkingGETTY   Jean-Claude Juncker insisted it was not a “punishment” for declining to leave


“If our share of the EU assets is minus £50billion then presumably Juncker is saying that the EU is insolvent. Is that what he is really trying to argue?”Leading eurocrats also pleaded for other countries not to destroy the EU by following Britain out.

Mr Juncker said: “Let’s suppose for one second that others will leave – two, three, four or five. That would be the end.”

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council of member state governments, said he was sure the EU would “turn the corner” after the shock of Brexit.

Jean-Claude Juncker with pressGETTY   Mr Juncker subbed Britain’s Brexit vote “a failture and a tragedy”


“But the real threat today – and I think it is not only my opinion – is the disintegration of Europe in the political and ideological sense.”It is not a coincidence that those who question liberal democracy are the same ones who call for the break-up of the EU, because the EU today is not only a political organisation which restricts national egoisms, it is also a unique territory of freedom.

“For this reason it is important that Brexit remains a one-off incident and not the beginning of a process.”

Mr Tusk’s comments were in a promotional 42-minute film produced to celebrate the history of the European Council, ahead of today’s SATURDAY celebrations in Rome by EU leaders, not including Mrs May, of the former European Economic Community’s founding Treaty of Rome signed in 1957 by West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The film being sent to EU leaders includes complaints about then PM Margaret Thatcher’s “irksome” stubbornness which won a rebate for the UK on its payments to Brussels.

Condemning the movie, UK Independence Party leader Paul Nuttall said: “This propaganda puff for the EU will please the Eurocracy, but I cannot imagine it getting any cinema release soon.”But they manage to be arrogant and boring simultaneously. The whole point of Brexit is to return liberal democracy to the people.

“The defining aspect of democracy is the ability to vote out our rulers in elections. While we remain in the EU it is impossible to do that.

Donald Tusk speakingGETTY    Donald Tusk said he was sure the EU would “turn the corner” after the shock of Brexit


“The unelected and over-powerful commission has no democracy, no accountability and no legitimacy. There are many, many countries in the world for whom freedom is a way of life, not a soundbite.”After Brexit the UK will once again be one of them.”

David Cameron will be remembered for destroying the UK by holding the EU referendum, Mr Juncker forecast.

He told a newspaper journalist: “I have met in my life two big destroyers: Gorbachev, who destroyed the Soviet Union, and Cameron, who destroyed the United Kingdom to some extent, even if there is no wave of Scotland to become independent.”

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the Soviet Union whose reforms ended the Cold War and ultimately led to the downfall of the Moscow’s communist empire.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/783771/Brexiteers-blast-Jean-Claude-Juncker-demanding-divorce-bill

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