Number 10 is making contingency plans that include walking out of Brexit negotiations over the amount the EU will demand for the ‘Brexit bill’, according to the Telegraph.
A senior Downing Street adviser – who has recently left his job – briefed business leaders in the City to prepare for a ‘walk-out’ by the prime minister in September. The report states that the move would be a theatrical attempt to show the British people that Theresa May objects to paying billions to Brussels, as – according to polls – they do.
“I think we are looking to be as hard nosed, as hard-headed and as cold-eyed about this as it is possible to be,” a source close to Downing Street told the Telegraph.
Recent polls revealed that the majority of the public are against paying anything above £30billion to settle commitments to the EU made by the UK government prior to the Brexit vote, also known as the ‘Brexit bill’.
But officials in Brussels are talking up the possibility of a bill closer to £80million, and so are Whitehall civil servants. The government would eventually have to pay the price if it wants a Brexit deal by the March 29 deadline.