Brexit BOMBSHELL: EU exit delay could see UK lose BILLIONS and hand Gibraltar to Spain
The report was produced by Martin Howe QC for pro-Brexit group Lawyers for Britain. Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry called for Brexit to be postponed last week to give more time for talks. Chancellor Philip Hammond has also previously suggested the UK’s departure could be delayed.
To extend Article 50, the official EU exit mechanism, the UK would need the permission of every other EU member state.
Some of these may demand concessions in return.
Mr Howe explained: “Quite apart from what the EU as a whole may have concerns about, each individual member state may have demands of its own.
“Asking for an Article 50 extension would be a terrible, terrible idea.
He suggested Spain could demand sovereignty over Gibraltar, currently a British Overseas Territory, in return.
Mr Howe also indicated Germany could demand the UK guarantee payment of the £39billion Brexit divorce bill.
Currently the Government has only pledged to pay it in full if a final Brexit deal is agreed.
The QC commented: “Taking advantage of the UK’s moment of weakness when it supplicates for an Article 50 extension, and taking the chance to lock in the EU’s legal entitlement to this enhanced sum come what may, would be quite the logical thing for Germany to insist on."
Last week Ms Thornberry, standing in for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions, suggested Brexit should be delayed.
Addressing the Prime Minister she said: “Does she not agree that the sensible, cautious thing to do at this late stage is to seek a temporary extension of Article 50 so we have time to see if the negotiations success?”
Chancellor Philip Hammond previously suggested the Government may “need a little bit more time” to secure a deal in which case “everybody on both sides will take a reasonable approach to that.”