Brussels and London grapple over EU budget

In the Brexit talks London has apparently gone back on former statements that it would continue to pay into the EU budget even after it has left the Union. The EU estimates the hole Brexit will leave in its budget by 2020 at 60 to 100 billion euros. How can the conflict be resolved?

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Irish Examiner (IE) /

All that can help now is an arbitrator

The dispute over British payments into the EU budget should be settled by independent arbitration, the Irish Examiner believes:

“Arbitration has great substantive advantages. It recognises, for instance, that the question of what is owed is enormously complicated, that the parties start from positions that are far apart, and that a lot of face is at stake on both sides. It gives Britain, especially, cover for backing down. The resulting terms would not be a surrender to EU bullying, but a principled compliance with a legitimate process that both sides agreed to invoke. The International Court of Justice, a United Nations body, or the Permanent Court of Arbitration would be the appropriate body.”

Večernji list (HR) /

EU must not give in

If Britain fails to meet its obligations to the EU it could mean the end of the Union, Večernji list believes:

“If the EU allowed Britain to leave without fulfilling its financial commitments while at the same time concluding a trade agreement giving the UK all the advantages of membership and none of the disadvantages, it would create a precedent. That would be attractive to other EU members, and would mean the end of the Union. It goes without saying that the EU can't permit such an outcome. The British negotiators should understand this.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Stop whining and pay up

The Brexit bill is the price that Britain must pay for good economic relations with the EU, writes The Daily Telegraph:

“Without it, it’s doubtful if negotiations on a future free trade deal between the UK and the EU can be concluded before the clock runs out on Article 50 in March 2019. ... The only way to make good on Leavers’ predictions of economic prosperity outside the EU is to make sure that that free trade deal is done. If continuing to pay what we’re currently already paying to the EU for the first three years after Brexit is the price of that deal, they should stop bitching about it and urge their ministerial colleagues to grasp it with both hands.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Britain held hostage by hardliners

For Süddeutsche Zeitung Britain is at the mercy of ideologists:

“The hardliners among the Brexiteers are watching over the exit negotiations with suspicion because they fear that reason might make a comeback after all. Reason means making compromises that cost money. Seeking transitional arrangements that cost time. … But for the right wing of the Conservative Party only the hardest possible Brexit is acceptable, even though there were no details about the exit on the ballot paper. Given the narrow majority in parliament the ideologists are disproportionately influential. They are not using this influence to serve the interests of the people, as they claim, but to hold the country hostage.”