Now that Theresa May has finally got around to writing the letter to trigger Article 50 we have seen some reactions from the EU.
President of the Council, President of the Commission Mr Juncker described the UK’s decision as a, “sad day”, and, “a choice they will regret one day”.
Well it is certainly a sad day for the EU, but not a decision the British people will regret once we have well and truly left the EU.
What is really frightening the Europhiles is the knowledge that they are losing one of the very few net contributors to the EU budget. The UK has always been up there as the second or third of the biggest paymasters.
Most EU member states have never made a net contribution to the EU’s budget. Britain’s current net contribution to the budget is about £10billion. Our gross contribution is £18billion less about £8billion being the rebate and ‘public sector receipts – UK money spent in the UK by the EU.
Who is going to take up the shortfall? Germany is hardly likely to want to do so, and the French certainly won’t. You might think that the remaining 27 member states could club together to make up the £10 billion – only about £370 million each.
When it dawns on them that they will have to start paying for their membership of the ‘club’, rather than being paid to be a member, they might ask themselves if they really want to remain.
That is what the EU big-wigs like Mr Juncker and Mr Tusk are really concerned about. For most member states membership has been like playing a slot machine where they put £1 in and get £2 back.
When the bonanza stops they might reconsider renewing their membership too.