UK won’t have to pay £39 billion divorce bill in no-deal Brexit – Johnson
Johnson made the comments after meeting European Council President Donald Tusk on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France. Ahead of the meeting, British media were reporting that Johnson would use the face-to-face to tell Tusk that the UK would only pay a fraction of the sum agreed by his predecessor Theresa May, with different news outlets citing figures of £9 billion ($11.05 billion) and £7 billion ($8.6 billion).
After the showdown, Johnson side-stepped confirming that he had discussed the matter with Tusk but stated that the EU understands his position.
“There’s got to be a great deal of realism on the part of our friends that the Withdrawal Agreement is dead... What the entire European Union understands is that if we come out without a deal then the £39 billion is not pledged.” @BorisJohnson#StandUp4Brexit#G7Summitpic.twitter.com/rb9gAQMyUA— #StandUp4Brexit (@StandUp4Brexit) August 25, 2019
“I think what the entire European Union understands is that if we come out without a deal then… the £39 billion is no longer legally pledged,” he told Sky News.
“As I’ve said many, many times we will therefore on November 1 have very substantial sums available from that £39 billion to spend on supporting our farmers… and indeed for investment in all sorts of areas.”
This view is in direct opposition to comments made by a French official earlier this week. “There is no magic world in which the bill no longer exists,” the official said on Wednesday.
The union has also stated that it will not even begin negotiating a new trade deal with the UK until the money is paid and issues around the Irish border and citizens rights are settled.Also on rt.com Trump teases trade deal for UK once Johnson gets rid of EU, the ‘anchor around its ankle’
Johnson has made optimistic sounds about the prospects of a new Brexit deal being agreed following Sunday’s meeting with Tusk and meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this week.
However, the European leaders have maintained that the controversial backstop border provision will remain in the withdrawal agreement unless the UK finds a solution that renders it unnecessary.
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