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UK may refuse to pay £39bn divorce bill without trade deal

Staff Writer |
The UK could refuse to pay its £39 billion divorce bill to Brussels if it does not get a trade deal, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has signalled.

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Mr Raab said there had to be "conditionality" under the Article 50 withdrawal mechanism between settling Britain's exit payment and creating a new relationship with the EU.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: "Article 50 requires, as we negotiate the withdrawal agreement, that there's a future framework for our new relationship going forward, so the two are linked.

"You can't have one side fulfilling its side of the bargain and the other side not, or going slow, or failing to commit on its side.

"So, I think we do need to make sure that there's some conditionality between the two."

Pressed on whether he would put such a provision into legislation, Mr Raab said: "Certainly it needs to go into the arrangements we have at international level with our EU partners. We need to make it clear that the two are linked."

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