UK Economics

Boris Johnson allies ‘trying to sway UK into paying £45bn bill to break Brexit deadlock’

BORIS Johnson allies believe UK should pay a £45billion divorce bill to break the deadlock over Brexit with the European Union, Whitehall sources claim.


Whitehall sources have suggested that Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan includes a divorce bill

The  has stubbornly insisted that an agreement on the so-called “divorce bill” must be made before Britain strikes a trade deal with the bloc.

It comes as the Mr Johnson was accused of being a “backseat driver” of yesterday after he penned a 4,000-word article in the Telegraph outlining his position.

In the article the  made no mention of paying the EU any kind of settlement, but Newsnight political editor Nicholas Watt revealed “Whitehall sources” believe Mr Johnson’s vision would include a divorce bill.

Mr Watt said: “Well, I think that Boris Johnson is putting down a marker on the transition and the bill, but he is not putting down a veto – Boris Johnson has never said never to making a payment.

“And there are some people, not a million miles from Boris Johnson, saying ‘well that’s roughly about the amount that we pay to borrow every year in the UK.

“If you could get Brussels to break the log jam in the talks, come out of the straight jacket and get Brussels to talk now about the future trading relationship.

“If you had the equivalent of a year’s borrowing to do that, that to them [Whitehall sources] is not a bad deal.
“They will be possibly whispering into Boris Johnson’s ear that might be something he should be thinking about.”

The divorce bill is to make up for the shortfall in the EU’s income after the UK leaves, which is currently around 20 per cent.

EU - Brexit - BBCBBC

Nicholas Watt said that Whitehall sources think the divorce payment would begin at $40-45 billion

Six months into the Brexit formalities, the Conservatives are accused of making a mess of negotiations and people are concerned that no progress has been made striking a trade deal – despite the deadline to the UK’s formal exit rapidly approaching.

Earlier this month, 40 pro-Leave MPs signed an open letter against a “soft Brexit”.

The signatures were gathered by Change Britain, a campaign group that evolved out of Vote Leave and has in the past received backing from Boris Johnson.

EU - Brexit - Change BritainGETTY

Change Britain was supported by Boris Johnson and is chaired by Gisela Stuart (left)

The letter also rejected the Government paying into the EU budget during any kind of transitional period, calling it “pay to play”.

The letter said: “Continued membership of the single market, even as part of a transitional arrangement, would quite simply mean EU membership by another name – and we cannot allow our country to be kept in the EU by stealth.

“The government must respect the will of the British people, and that means leaving the single market at the same time as we leave the EU.”

“The truth is that the single market is a political project, and requires its members to constantly introduce new EU laws. Therefore, the longer one remains a member the harder it is to leave.”

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C A Dark
C A Dark

And what demand will follow after the £45bn is paid? Another £45bn? and so on, etc ad infinitum? It’s all blackmail.

Nick Toeman

Between the wars Churchill was regarded in much the way you describe Johnson, great with words, spoken and written, but really just a clown. The country was also divided between compromise and defiance (of Hitler). I don’t want to overdo the comparison but perhaps Boris could put a bit of inspiration and optimism into the dismal fight we putting up.

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