Thursday, December 7

One line in the Article 50 bill is infuriating people



One line in the Article 50 bill is infuriating people Theresa May finally published the Brexit bill, the piece of legislation that’s going to take us out of the European Union and it’s a scant six lines worth of legislation.

Reports even suggest that the government is looking at a one-line bill in order to minimise debate and possible amendment.

It’s a bit all over the place really.

As if the current state of affairs isn’t strange enough, it now appears that Brexit will cost the UK precisely nothing.

The Financial Times’ Brussels bureau chief, Alex Barker, tweeted a section of Article 50’s explanatory notes which read:

The Bill is not expected to have any financial implications.

People are so bewildered they’re calling #fakenews! on the entire operation:

Is the government having a giggle?


Lol no.

Calm. Down.

Ben Chu, from the Independent is here to allay your fears. He explains:

Bills introduced in the House of Commons always have a paragraph which specifies the financial implications.

This refers, narrowly, to the amount of public money which civil servants expect to be spent from public funds, or foregone in tax, as a result of the passing of the legislation.

Passing Article 50 will not entail the spending of any public money or any tax breaks.

This does not refer to the indirect financial consequences of any legislation which, in the case of Brexit, promise to be considerable.

The Office for Budget Responsibility in November forecast that the public finances would be worse off to the tune of around £59bn by 2021 due to Brexit.

There you go, the Bill itself, will not have financial implications.