The UK’s next prime minister will be putting at risk the country’s future relations with the European Union if he refuses to pay the 39 billion-pound financial settlement the government agreed to as part of the Brexit deal, the EU said.
EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the bill formed the basis of ties with the bloc that the two sides will negotiate when Britain leaves. The money is part of the overall Brexit deal which, though agreed between outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and all the EU’s other leaders in November, hasn’t been approved by the British Parliament.
Boris Johnson, the front-runner to be next prime minister, told the Sunday Times last weekend that he would withhold the payment unless the EU agrees to better terms for the divorce.
“Mrs. May’s government accepted the payment of that amount, so we expect that no matter which government will be our negotiating partner in the future, we expect them to accept that bill,” Oettinger told reporters in Brussels. “No matter who’s in charge he or she will want to ensure that the relationship between the U.K. and the EU has a future.” [...]
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