Michel Barnier has demanded a huge Brexit exit fee
Michel Barnier said the fee must be paid before the UK even begins other talks regarding the country’s EU exit.
The eye-watering bill is thought to be many times higher than Prime Minister Theresa May is happy to pay.
Her Brexit department is believed to be content to pay any genuine outstanding debt – but this is thought to be only £3 billion or so.
Mr Barnier said it was a “distinct possibility” Britain would get no deal with the EU if they refused to pay up.
He said today: “It goes without saying that a no-deal scenario, while a distinct possibility, would have severe consequences for our people and our economies. It would undoubtedly leave the UK worse off.”
He warned Britain would struggle to adapt to life outside the EU, while member states would be quick to adjust.
Mr Barnier said: “While the 27 member states will find it easier to adjust, as they will still benefit from the single market, the customs union and more than 60 trade deals with their international partners, we believe it is in the best interests of both sides to reach a deal on the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU.
Michael Barnier has demanded a huge EU exit fee
“Severe disruption to air transport and long queues at the Channel port of Dover are just some of the many examples of the negative consequences of failing to reach a deal.
“Others include the disruption of supply chains, including the suspension of the delivery of nuclear material to the UK.”
No 10 dampened concerns today and said negotiations were just “beginning”.
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