Brussels, not UK, should pay Brexit bill – Johnson

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Brussels could be forced to pay the UK a Brexit divorce bill, rather than the other way round, Boris Johnson has said.

The Foreign Secretary accused the EU of trying to “bleed this country white” with an expected bill of as much as €100bn (£84bn) to settle liabilities on withdrawal.

He claimed the UK could “definitely” walk away without paying, and said Britain’s share of EU assets is so valuable that Brussels may end up having to hand over money.

Asked whether he agreed with former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith that Britain might end up receiving a payment, Mr Johnson told the Daily Telegraph: “I do, I think there are very good arguments.

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“There are assets, I don’t want to get too much into the detail of the negotiation but there are assets that we share, that we have paid for over the years and there will need to be a proper computation of the value of those assets.

“I certainly think the bill that’s been presented at the moment is absurd.”

Mr Johnson said the “shameful” leaking of details of a Downing Street meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier showed “Brussels is ruthless in its negotiating techniques”.

Accusing the EU of “trying it on”, he said: “They are going to try to bleed this country white with their bill.

“The logic behind this bill is absolutely preposterous. We could definitely walk away.”

Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin

Image:Mr Johnson claims Vladimir Putin would ‘rejoice’ if Jeremy Corbyn won on 8 June

Mr Johnson also warned that Russian interference in the General Election is a “realistic possibility”, and claimed Russian president Vladimir Putin would “rejoice” if Jeremy Corbyn got into Number 10.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “I think it is a realistic possibility. Clearly we think that is what he (Mr Putin) did in America, it’s blatantly obvious that’s what he did in France. In the western Balkans he is up to all sorts of sordid enterprises, so we have to be vigilant.”

Mr Johnson suggested Mr Putin’s motive was “to undermine faith in democracy altogether and to discredit the whole democratic process”.

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Brussels, not UK, should pay Brexit bill – Johnson

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