That’s how contracts and binding unions work though.
You can’t just tell O2 you’re dumping their contract and then not expect to have to pay off the rest of it.
£50bn is a drop of water if you’re looking at paying £8bn a year for perpetuity. £50bn is the cost of dropping those annual payments, and it’s coming at the low price of about 6 years of payments.
The EU relies and has relied on the UK for contributions to the EU budget and now all of that is needing to be reworked and all of a sudden a large chunk of money that the EU depended on won’t be coming in anymore. That’s how alimony/divorce payments work as well because now all of a sudden one party doesn’t have a significant portion of income coming in any more.
People are fucking idiots if they thought they could get away with not having to pay anything to leave the EU, and I’m surprised that it’s not a whole lot more than £50bn to be honest.
In any case, the EU is the UK closest and biggest exporter/importer. They hold an awful lot of cards here, and if they want their pound of flesh before they continue working out a deal, they’ll get it.