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Littlestone
Littlestone
5381 posts

Re: Another Election
May 04, 2017, 12:24
For those who have a wider interest in international affairs in general, the forthcoming election and the Brexit/EU issue in particular, this from the Independent on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 -

Independent wrote:
Brexit: Remind EU about cancelling German WW2 debt to get better deal, says senior Tory MP.

UK government ministers should remind the EU about the cancellation of German debt after the Second World War as they try to secure a better Brexit deal, a senior Conservative MP has said. Sir Bill Cash, a long-standing Eurosceptic, who chairs the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, said European officials wanting to whack Britain with a hefty Brexit bill were being “extravagant” and should remember how European countries had written off German debt in the 1950s.

His comments come amid concerns the EU will hand the UK a huge bill as soon as Theresa May triggers Article 50 and begins the formal Brexit process.

EU 'to take UK to The Hague' if it tries to avoid Brexit divorce bill

“Would you make sure that they do understand that we’ve been net contributors for many decades to the tune of what is now running at about nine or ten billion [pounds] a year [and] that our accumulated liabilities are offset by the extent to which we’ve made these massive contributions?”, Sir Bill told David James, a Brexit Minister, during a meeting of the European Scrutiny Select Committee.

He added: “Perhaps also to bear in mind that back in 1953 there was a thing called the London Debt Agreement, where Germany - for all its malfeasance during the Second World War and its unprovoked aggression - found that in 1953, in circumstances which were quite remarkable, that we remitted one half of all German debt.

“Therefore if you compare that situation with what it is now and given Germany's extremely dominant role in the EU at the moment it might be worth tactfully - not one of my strongest points - but tactfully reminding people that there is a realistic position here that we really don't owe anything to the EU whether it's legal or political.”

In response, Mr Jones said: “I'm not entirely sure how tactful one can be when one is mentioning the London Debt Agreement. But nevertheless, clearly there are a whole range of issues.”

The London Debt Agreement provided West Germany with relief on its post-war debts and tied repayments to the state of the country’s economy, in a bid to help it re-integrate with the West.
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