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EU says UK must pay divorce bill even in no deal Brexit, contradicting Boris Johnson

Monday, 26 August, 2019 - 17:01

The United Kingdom will have to pay the € 43 billion bill to settle its commitments to the EU even in the absence of an agreement (or “no deal”) at the Brexit, warned Monday the European Commission .

“All commitments that were taken by the 28 member states should be honoured. This is also and especially true in a no-deal scenario where the United Kingdom would be expected to continue to honour all commitments made during EU membership,” the spokeswoman, Mina Andreeva, said.

“Settling accounts is essential to starting of a new relationship on the right foot, based on mutual trust,” she said, adding that London has not formally raised the issue with the EU side so far.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, it would not have to pay the £39 billion (€43 billion) to settle its commitments with the EU when it leaves the bloc.

He repeated on Sunday to the British channel ITV, saying:

“If we come out without an agreement it is certainly true that the £39bn is no longer, strictly speaking, owed,” adding that “this is not a threat. It’s a reality.”

During the conservative leadership campaign, Johnson suggested the entire £39 billion would be “withheld” in hopes of using it as leverage to gain a better future for EU27 trade relations.

The remarks on the divorce bill are likely to scare the EU27 , who are still waiting for detailed proposals about London’s way of prevent  a border from reappearing in Ireland after Brexit.


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