The United Kingdom will refuse to pay a divorce bill if the European Union doesnt agree to a trade deal, the new Brexit secretary of state said.
“Article 50 requires, as we negotiate the withdrawal agreement, that theres a future framework for our new relationship going forward, so the two are linked,” Dominic Raab told the Sunday Telegraph.
“You cant 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 theres some conditionality between the two,” he said.
U.K. officials have in the past made similar threats about refusing to pay the debt.
Raab visited Brussels this week and met with Michel Barnier, the EUs top Brexit negotiator, to discuss the new British white paper.
“The ball is now in the EUs court, and dont get me wrong, there will be plenty more negotiations, Ive made that clear, but if they show us the same level of ambition, energy, pragmatism, this deal gets done in 12 weeks,” Raab said.
Raab took on the role of Brexit secretary earlier this month after David Davis resigned in protest at the new Brexit plan approved by the Cabinet.