Utrecht to face Brexit Tax

If as seems likely the UK continues in its monumental act of self harm and leaves the EU, perhaps the British government should ask them selves about the damage they are doing to other countries in Europe.

It is not enough for the UK to betray partnerships of the past and hold the position of EU citizens in the UK in contempt, they also abandon those who have moved to Europe seeking work and better opportunities.

They will also cost Europeans billions of Euros if they try to renege on a leaving deal and go for no deal.

Who will pay for this? Well in part the Dutch will and perhaps there will have to be a tax hike to do so.

It has been reported that if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without an agreement, it is expected to cost the Netherlands around 2.3 billion euros up to 2023, according to a report from the Court of Audit.

Additional contributions to the EU will be added to this in the budget from 2021 to 2027. If the British leave the EU without a deal, the Netherlands will have to pay an additional 1.6 billion euros to Brussels over the next two years.

It takes a particular type of selfish governmental mindset to even contemplate that idea, but it seems the UK is willing to do this to appease a minority in the country and a minority in the Conservative party.

All European countries must then collectively cover the promised contribution of the United Kingdom if they renege on the deal. The government will also incur additional 700 million euros for institutions that will be given additional work by the Brexit such as Customs and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority until 2023.

If the British leave the EU without a deal, they will no longer be covered by European agreements and customs checks will have to be carried out on ferries. Also, products imported from the United Kingdom must be checked additionally.

Incidentally, for example, Customs can not be fully ready for a Brexit without agreement at the end of March. In that case, nearly a thousand full-time jobs must be added to the service. However, Customs expects to have filled 300 full-time jobs at the end of March, which means that the service in the scenario of a Brexit has to make choices with enforcement in the first instance. At least The Netherlands can be seen to be preparing for this outcome. Inaction in the UK seems to be the name of the game, with problems set out on secret papers, but not practically addressed by the government.

In the new long-term budget, the Netherlands is expected to contribute an extra 1.25 billion euros to Europe in 2021. A further half a billion euros can be deducted from this if the Brexit is accompanied by an agreement. From 2026, the Netherlands must annually transfer 2.5 billion to 3 billion euro in higher contributions to Brussels. So Utrecht, look to your tax bill!

I can hear everyone congratulating the UK for this masterly display of diplomacy.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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