I am glad the Lords have confirmed what I have long argued that the UK has no legal obligations under the EU Treaties to pay any one off exit payment or any continuing contributions after departure.
They missed out the even more important point – UK Ministers have no legal power to make any one off or continuing payments after leaving. The payments would not be authorised. The legal base of the Treaty supports our regular contributions but not the payments the EU have in mind.
The EU may well think it a good idea to ease the problems they have on our departure by charging us a huge sum for daring to leave. The answer is a simple and polite No to that request.
The EU needs to concentrate on making sure it still has tariff free access to our market, which they also need. The good news is we are happy to offer them that. The bad news is they do not seem to be able to agree anything amongst themselves about how to respond to Brexit. The EU Commission also seems to think it should try and threaten and bully us, when the sensible approach is to be helpful and courteous, as we are towards them.
The UK is offering them tariff free trade and the full rights of EU citizens to stay and work in our country. That’s a great and generous offer. Why can’t they simply do the same civilised thing? Why don’t they take seriously their legal obligations under their own Treaty to have good relations with a neighbouring state with a flourishing trade?