AT MIDNIGHT the Bank of England transfers $83m, the final payment of a loan the United States made to Britain in 1946. This closes a chapter in the story of Britain's alliance with America in the Second World War and makes military operations in the UK more expensive for the US.
With a few creative strokes of the pen, some portions of the annual loan payment were written off in return for services rendered by MOD to the US military. In my time working with the US military, those services normally amounted to landing fees, perimeter security and assorted support details associated with movements of military personnel and cargo.
The rest of the story is on "Mortgaged to the Yanks" when it airs on BBC4 at 2100 on 3 Jan 07.