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House of Commons Hansard
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EU Tangible Assets: UK Share
14 December 2017
Volume 633
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11. What recent estimate he has made of the value of the UK’s share of EU tangible assets after the UK leaves the EU. [902938]

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The Government have agreed a number of important principles with the EU that will apply to how we arrive at valuations in due course. This includes taking account of all relevant assets.

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The European Union is estimated to have a wine cellar of more than 42,000 bottles and art work worth more than £13 million, some, one might say, metaphorically looted from the capitals of Europe. After we leave the party, will the Minister promise to take back control of our fair share of this art and wine and not leave it to Mr Juncker to enjoy?

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My hon. Friend raises an interesting question. The legal basis of both assets and liabilities has been analysed in detail and accounted for in the overall settlement. The scope of the settlement is laid out in the joint report.

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As the first advisory referendum was conducted entirely in ignorance of the contents of the wine cellars and almost everything else, and was a choice between Operation Fear and Operation Lies, is it not appropriate that we listen to all those independent bodies that have looked at the prospects and decided that no Brexit would be better than any Brexit? Is it not time to think about a second, well-informed confirmation referendum?

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I enjoyed the hon. Gentleman’s speech in our debate on a second referendum the other day, but the answer I give him today is the same one that I gave then. The referendum did not come out of the blue; it came after 30 years of debate in this country. The Government at the time wrote to every household in the country setting out the impact of leaving, and we should respect the decision of the British people.