Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Dominic Raab: UK could withhold Brexit divorce bill without trade deal


He said: "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".

As Mr Raab, who has said a deal with the European Union can be reached by October, readied to return to Brussels for more Brexit talks on Thursday he signalled that Britain could withhold its £39 billion divorce bill if it did not get a trade deal in return.

The comments came as Mr Raab indicated he was still trying to persuade all members of the Cabinet that Theresa May's Chequers compromise agreement was "the best plan to get the best deal".

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Raab also suggested the divorce bill could be used as leverage in the talks with Brussels.

Raab, 44, became Brexit secretary on July 9 after David Davis resigned the post in protest of May's divorce blueprint.

"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".

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He played in four of the hosts' games as they reached the quarter-finals before losing to Croatia on penalties. The post has been liked by Golovin's official Instagram account - seemingly confirming that a move is imminent.

Britions needn't worry about the prospect of no deal emerging, Raab said, when asked about how that might strand imports at borders, create the need to stockpile food, prevent airplanes from landing, or negate residency rights for Britons overseas or foreigners living in the U.K. While he expects to reach an accord, planning is underway in "every aspect" to make sure the country is prepared if he doesn't, he said.

Britain "almost certainly" has a legal duty to pay a mega-billion divorce bill - even if no trade deal has been agreed at the end of Brexit negotiations, Tory MP Dominic Grieve has told ITV News.

'They're wrong. No bluffing, ' he said. Sir Amyas Morse, the auditor general, told lawmakers in April that the divorce payments will become legally binding as soon as the United Kingdom signs a Withdrawal Agreement.

"I'm confident we won't get there, but even if we did we will have the planning in place, the preparation in place, the operational matters in place from the infrastructure to the planning laws to deal with that". "The reason why that would be is the payments are primarily in respect of continuing membership for the extension period - they don't relate directly to whatever the future relationship may be".

"Whether it's the allocation of money, preparation of our treaty relations, or hiring extra more border staff, people need to know we're ready so that Britain can thrive whatever happens".

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