The United Kingdom will pay the bill of divorce with the European Union only if a trade agreement is found, said the new British Minister of Brexit, Dominic Raab, in an interview published Sunday in the Sunday Telegraph.
Eurosceptic Dominic Raab, who replaced David Davis on 9 July, following his disagreement with Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit white paper, said a “certain conditionality between the two” was needed.
He said that the mechanism of Article 50, used to trigger the exit procedure from the United Kingdom, provides new details concerning the agreement:
“Article 50 requires (…) that there is a future framework agreement for the relationship we will have (with the EU) in the future, so the two are linked. You can not have on one side a part fulfilling all the conditions and on the other a part that does not fulfill them, or that goes slowly, or that does not engage. So I think we need to make sure there is a certain conditionality between the two.”
So far, the UK government has sent mixed messages about the Brexit Financial Regulation as part of an agreement on the UK’s exit modalities from the end of March 2019.
British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed in December on a financial deal totaling £35 to £39 billion (between €39 and 44 billion), which ministers said depended on the establishment of the future trade relations. This agreement was quickly challenged by members of the government.
Finance Minister Philip Hammond, a spokesman for the business community in the government, however, considered it “inconceivable” that London does not honor its financial commitments to the EU even in the absence of a trade agreement, stressing that it was not “not a credible scenario.”
The UK is due to leave the EU on March 30, but both parties are expected to reach a divorce agreement by the end of October to organise the separation, lay the groundwork for their future relationship and give time to Parliament and national parliaments to ratify the text.