David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, yesterday hinted that the UK will have to pay the final Brexit bill after all, after almost a year of government insistence that it could just ignore its obligations to the EU.
In a statement snuck out yesterday, the government admitted that there would be obligations which would ‘survive the UK’s withdrawal’, widely seen as a reference to the “Brexit bill” – the money left for Britain to have to pay, which some have estimated could be up to £100bn.
This is the latest in a series of reports on Brexit which seriously undermine the Leave campaign’s arguments a year ago. Leave had argued that there would be no bill to pay – which now seems untrue, that there would be little economic impact – while the ONS has shown that 2million jobs rely directly on EU investment, and that the money gained from leaving the EU could be spent to the tune of £350million on the NHS – which hasn’t happened.
It also follows only days after chief architect of Brexit, Dominic Cummings, admitted that the government was enacting “shambolic” Brexit policy, and that it could be doomed to failure.
The news will be disquieting for Leave supporters, as what they called “Project Fear” during the referendum begins to turn out in fact to be “The Truth”.