Britain and the EU fired warning shots to one another today as disagreements over a £39bn Brexit divorce bill threatened to jeopardise hopes of a trade deal between the two sides.
Talks between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU leaders ended today with a stand-off over payments that Britain could face in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking at the G7 summit in France, Johnson insisted that the £39bn divorce settlement would be “no longer strictly speaking owed” if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
“It’s not a threat, it’s a simple statement of reality, that’s the way things are,” he told ITV.
Responding to the comments on Twitter, senior EU politician Guy Verhofstadt wrote: “If the UK doesn’t pay what is due, the EU will not negotiate a trade deal. After a ‘no deal’, this will be a first condition of any talks. Britain is better than this.”
European Council President Donald Tusk warned on Saturday that Johnson risked being remembered as “Mr No Deal”, before the pair held talks today aimed at finding a deal before Downing Street’s 31 October deadline.