Britain legally sure to pay Brexit invoice earlier than commerce accord agreed – minister

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is legally sure to pay its as much as 39 billion pound ($52 billion) divorce invoice to the European Union earlier than it agrees a future commerce cope with the bloc, a Brexit minister stated on Wednesday.

Two anti-Brexit protesters carry flags reverse the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The remarks by Suella Braverman, a number one Brexit supporter, recommend Britain might not be capable of use fee of the invoice as leverage in talks on commerce preparations after it leaves the EU.

But a government supply stated ministers have been making an attempt to hyperlink the 2 within the negotiations, a part of makes an attempt to reassure Brexit campaigners who concern that Britain is coming off worse within the talks to finish greater than 40 years of union.

May has lengthy stated that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” within the Brexit talks, suggesting an accord on future ties have to be settled earlier than the divorce in March subsequent yr.

Stopping funds to the EU was one of many principal causes behind the marketing campaign for Britain to depart the bloc, and Brexit campaigners have stated they won’t help the government’s plans until they provide worth for cash.

While the government says it’ll current to parliament an in depth settlement on future ties nicely earlier than the Brexit date, Braverman informed lawmakers there was no authorized hyperlink between the divorce invoice and a deal on future buying and selling preparations with the bloc, solely “a duty of good faith.”

“In the withdrawal agreement, there is agreed a duty of good faith … which obliges both parties to cooperate in a way which means we are working constructively towards a future framework, which is mutually beneficial,” she informed a parliamentary committee on Brexit.

“The duty of good faith should not be ignored in this context. It is more than just words and I think it does apply to the attitude in the way in which an agreement on the future framework will be struck.”

She additionally stated if the phrases of any future commerce deal didn’t meet British calls for, then London might renegotiate its phrases.

Several lawmakers stated parliament might be left voting on a monetary deal value 35-39 billion kilos within the withdrawal settlement due later this yr with out having authorized certainty over what the long run relationship would appear to be.

A spokesman for May stated: “We have been absolutely clear that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We’re clear that we intend to agree the future framework at the same time as the withdrawal agreement.”

“Parliament will vote on the withdrawal agreement at the same time as the terms of our future relationship with the EU.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Andrew MacAskill; modifying by Stephen Addison

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