As we all know the government is considering asking for the capital back from the European Investment Bank when Brexit occurs. There's perhaps € 10 billion in there and according to the rules shareholders in the EIB must be EU members. All of which seems pretty cut and dried to us.
Which brings us to this remarkable suggestion in the FT
:But the obvious point here is that a proportional slice of the EIB’s funds is far smaller than the cash the UK would receive over the years by remaining a member. A one off payment in return for losing billions of yearly funding.
I shouldn't sell my stock in Barclay's because of the loans I can get from Barclay's? Loans which I do have to pay back note, so the loans aren't free money. While that return of capital is in fact free money, money that we're free to deploy in any manner we desire.
More than this it's not exactly as if the UK has a problem in borrowing money these days, is it? The Treasury can in fact borrow near unlimited amounts at present, almost certainly at lower interest rates than the EIB would offer too.
Whether or not Britain should stay in the EIB isn't something we have a collective view upon. But the argument that we should stay in just because they might lend us some money is ludicrous.