AFP: Britain will only pay its £39 billion EU divorce bill if the bloc agrees the framework for a future trade deal, the new Brexit Secretary warned in an interview published Sunday.
Dominic Raab told The Sunday Telegraph that he would make the vast payment formally conditional on the EU “fulfilling its side of the bargain”.
The promise will be welcomed by leading Brexiteers after the Government said in May that there were no plans for a legally enforceable link between the bill and a future trading relationship.
Amid a breakdown of trust with No 10, pro-Brexit MPs had threatened to force an amendment into the Government’s Implementation Bill in the autumn after Philip Hammond claimed that “walking away from an obligation … would not make us a credible partner in future international agreements”.
In his first newspaper interview since his appointment, Mr Raab said that Article 50, the exit mechanism triggered by the UK, called for a trade deal as well as the withdrawal agreement, which includes the £39 billion divorce bill.