Brexit bill – Nigel Farage slams Angela Merkel over order Britain to pay | Politics | News

MEP and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has slammed the German Chancellor saying she “can go jump” after she waded into the debate about the Brexit bill, saying Britain had an “obligation” to pay.

Mr Farage told “She can go jump. To ask the UK to pay a Brexit bill without agreement on a free trade deal is tantamount to blackmail.

“Their make-believe Brexit bill has not legal basis whatsoever and the EU knows it.”

The German Chancellor, who has no official role within the bloc, decided to weigh into the ongoing debate in her weekly podcast.

Acting as a mouthpiece for the EU, Mrs Merkel warned the disputed bill will need to be settled before Britain leaves the bloc. 

She said: “This is about obligations that Great Britain has entered into and that naturally must remain on the books.

“It’s not about the cost of divorce — that makes it sound like fines. We’re still at the very start of these negotiations.”

The question of Britain paying a Brexit bill, let alone how much, is seen by many as the most contentious issue surrounding the Brexit negotiations with many suggesting the UK should not pay one penny while others have argued over just how much Britain should pay.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration said in July it acknowledged the country would have a bill to pay for outstanding contributions, saying it wanted to “determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations.”

The Government though has been silent on just how much the bill should be with some analysts estimating the figure could be as large as £92.5bn ( €100bn) although EU officials have also never put a figure on the sum.

In her podcast, Mrs Merkel described the Brexit bill as a “very difficult issue”.

Mrs Merkel’s comments come at a key stage as talks with the EU are due to resume on Monday in Brussels with either side apparently finding little common ground to agree on the key topics.

The German leader faces national elections next month on September 24, and has already launched her campaign to be Chancellor for a fourth time.

As Britain is a net contributor to the EU, any loss of funds could have repercussions on Germany’s domestic policies with other net contributors, such as Germany and France, possibly being forced to make up any difference in the budget.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had previously said the European Union could “go whistle” for any Brexit bill but recently conceded that it would have to pay something to the bloc once it had left.

But he said the upper end figure of €100bn was not a figure he recognised.

He said: “I think that some of the sums I have seen seem to be very high and of course we will meet our obligating we are law abiding bill paying people.

“The UK has contributed hundreds of billions over the years to the EU.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: “As David Davis has said, on financial settlement the UK and EU both recognise the importance of sorting out the obligations we have to one another, both legally, and in the spirit of mutual cooperation.”

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