Brexit: Boris Johnson blasts 'extortionate' EU divorce bill demand

Boris Johnson believes the EU's demands are too high

Boris Johnson has been heavily criticised for his involvement in the Leave campaign

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has blasted the EU for demanding an "extortionate" amount of money from the UK in the Brexit negotiations.

Much has been made of the so-called 'divorce bill', with some sources suggesting that the EU is seeking £100bn from the UK, and that this is an essential precondition for the talks.

Johnson, who played a key role in the Leave campaign last summer, said the EU's proposals "seem to be extortionate."

The high-profile Tory has been criticised for the claims he made during the referendum campaign, notably his insistence that Britain will gain £350m a week to spend on the NHS after Brexit.

Johnson was even mocked by his cabinet colleague Philip Hammond last month, the Chancellor telling a German audience "I try to discourage talk of cake amongst my colleagues" - a thinly veiled reference to Johnson's previous claim that Britain can "have our cake and eat it" by leaving the EU.

However Johnson is not the first British politician to query the sum being demanded of the UK by the EU.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said in May that the UK should walk away from the severance negotiations if the Brussels negotiators don't lower their demands, and this stance was echoed earlier this month when The Sunday Telegraph, citing a senior Downing Street source, said that Theresa May is planning to walk out of the negotiations in September over the 'divorce bill'.

However the claims were ridiculed by another No 10 source, who told the paper that the idea of walking out "has no part in our plans."