Britain will refuse to pay its £39 billion ($51 billion) divorce bill to Brussels if the European Union fails to agree a trade deal, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union pledged Sunday.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab told The Sunday Telegraph that he would make the vast payment formally conditional on the EU “fulfilling its side of the bargain.”
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.
“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,” he said. “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.
“I want to make sure we can persuade everyone (…) that we’ve got the best deal and the best plan to get the best [Brexit] deal.”