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EU can 'go whistle,' says Boris Johnson of Brexit

Staff Writer |
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has told MPs the European Union can “go whistle” for any “extortionate” final payment from the UK on Brexit. He added the government had “no plan” for what to do in the event of no deal being agreed with the EU.

“The sums I have seen that they propose to demand from this country appear to be extortionate. Go whistle seems to me to be an entirely appropriate expression,” added Johnson.

The foreign secretary was responding to a question from backbench MP Philip Hollobone, who urged him to tell the EU they could “go whistle” if they wanted “a penny piece more” than the money the UK had already paid to the EU since 1973.

The question of any “divorce bill” paid by the UK is one of the first subjects to be tackled in the Brexit talks, and EU leaders say it must be settled before a future trading relationship can be negotiated.

Reports have suggested the demand from Brussels could be as high as 100bn Euros. The UK government has said it will not pay this amount but will settle its “obligations” as it leaves.

Taking questions in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson also denied reports Chancellor Philip Hammond and First Secretary of State Damian Green had said there will be a transition period of at least three years after Brexit, when the UK will remain under the jurisdiction of the Europe Court of Justice.

And he was asked if there was a strategy, either public or private, for what would happen if there was no agreement on Brexit.

“There is no plan for no deal because we are going to get a great deal,” he replied.

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