Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said the EU’s demand for Britain to pay a ‘Brexit bill’, which could be up to £80billion, is “extortionate”, adding that telling them to “go whistle is an entirely appropriate expression.”
Mr Johnson was answering to a question by backbench Leaver Philip Hollobone, who urged the foreign secretary to tell Brussels to “go whistle” if they wanted Britain to pay “a penny piece more” – the foreign secretary concurred.
“Thee sums I have seen that they propose to demand from this country appear to be extortionate,” Said Johnson, adding that “go whistle seems to me to be an entirely appropriate expression.”
The foreign secretary’s words will likely anger officials in Brussels, who say negotiations cannot move forward without Britain agreeing to pay up.
In April the Financial Times reported that European Union negotiators were preparing to demand Britain to pay a 100 billion euros bill – over £80billion – to leave the bloc. Brexit Secretary David Davis slapped down the suggestion soon after, saying: “We’ll not be paying 100 billion. What we’ve got to do is discuss in detail what the rights and obligations are.”
How much Britain has to pay will likely dominate the summer as negotiations move forward.