Britain’s EU bill just went up

All political acts have unintended consequences. A year ago the pound sterling was worth €1.40 but last week it was hovering around €1.16. Britain’s 2015 contribution to the EU budget has been calculated on the high exchange rate at the end of the financial (calendar) year, but it now has to be paid in devalued pounds. According to the  Financial Times the result is a hole of €1.17 billion which could get bigger if sterling continues its trajectory. Chancellor Philip Hammond hasn’t brought the issue up yet but he can hardly get past his autumn budget statement without mentioning it so expect a parliamentary storm – Brexit MEPs who are aware of the issue are already up in arms. Of course, if there had been no Brexit there would be no payment gap, but don’t hold your breath for a fair allocation of blame.