Iain Duncan Smith has bemoaned the fine print in the Withdrawal Agreement which could keep the UK hooked into the EU’s loan book indefinitely.
According to reports Boris Johnson’s deal keeps the UK tied to payments issued by EU agencies which can pay out hundreds of billions, such as The European Investment Bank and the European Financial Stability Mechanism.
Britain’s share of liability is around 12 per cent, which could translate to up to £160 billion of unpaid loans according to experts – four times Britain’s £39 billion divorce deal.
Duncan Smith said the issue stems from the Withdrawal Agreement – which he gave his backing to last year.
“Whilst the UK wants to have a good trade relationship with the EU as a sovereign state, the EU has different ideas”, he said.
“They want our money and they want to stop us being a competitor. The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) we signed last year sadly helps them.
“To avoid their own budget black hole, the EU gets £39billion as a “divorce payment” from us, reflecting our share of the current EU budget. But it gets worse. Buried in the fine print, unnoticed by many, is the fact we remain hooked into the EU’s loan book.
“You can’t be half in the EU & half out, the problem is the WA. It costs too much & it denies us true national independence. This WA giving the EU future control over us has to go. Now Britain faces a £160billion #EU loans bill AFTER #Brexit”.
Peak Duncan Smith
But his comments have been dismissed as being ‘peak Duncan Smith’ given that he voted for the deal and also attempted to stop the House of Commons having more time to discuss the agreement, shortly before Boris Johnson called an election to force it through.
To vote against proper scrutiny of a bill & then to vote for that bill & then to complain about not having understood that bill is Iain Duncan Smith level stupid.— James O’Brien (@mrjamesob) August 4, 2020
Johnson’s Brexit Bill passed in the House of Commons at the start of the year with a majority of 99 following the Conservative’s landslide election victory.
The MP for Chingford & Woodford Green gave it his seal of approval, as well as voting with the party on five occasions to reject House of Lords amendments.
People have shared their frustration on Twitter.
Chris Grey, a professor in Organization Studies at Royal Holloway university, wrote: “So in 2016, despite having no detail on what Brexit meant, people knew exactly what they were voting for. But in 2019, despite having a detailed Withdrawal Agreement, MPs didn’t know what they were voting for.”
“Maybe you should have read it before you voted for it?” Anthony Crutch pointed out.
Muppet. pic.twitter.com/0gGzGyKeP0— Dr Mike Galsworthy (@mikegalsworthy) August 4, 2020
@Mandoline_Blue said: “Agreements are binding. It pays to read them first. If you don’t know that, what on earth are you doing in government?”
Andrew Parnall argued this was “evidence” that leave voters could not have known what they voted for. “MPs like Mr Smith @MPIainDS certainly don’t,” he added.