LONDON – Brexit Secretary David Davis said the U.K. government won’t accept a reported bill of as much as €100 billion ($110 billion) from the European Union as part of the deal for leaving the bloc.
“We’ll not be paying 100 billion,” Davis told ITV Wednesday when asked about a Financial Times report that said EU negotiators had revised their initial calculations upward. “We’ve never seen a number” from the EU, Davis said. He refused to specify how much Britain is prepared to pay, saying “what we’ve got to do is discuss in detail what the rights and obligations are.” The EU has previously said the bill would be around €60 billion.
The FT said that according to its calculations, the new net figure for the bill would be as much as €75 billion, once Britain’s share of EU spending and repaid loans were accounted for. The newspaper’s previous calculations had given a net figure of €40 billion to €60 billion, in line with the EU’s estimate.
Davis also rejected as “gossip and spin” a weekend report in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker had expressed shock and skepticism at U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to negotiating Brexit after a dinner meeting last week.
The dinner at May’s No. 10 Downing Street residence was “constructive,” said Davis, who was one of 10 people in the room. “There were some disagreements,” he said, but the atmosphere was “absolutely not” hostile.
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