Boris Johnson allies claim UK must stand firm in wake of Michel Barnier ultimatum
Allies of Boris Johnson have warned the UK must not give in to demands for a bigger EU ‘divorce bill’ in the wake of Brussels new deadline.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, yesterday said that if talks about the two parties’ future trading relationship were to take place by December, the UK needed to clarify its position on three key items –citizens' rights, Northern Ireland and the Brexit bill – in the next two weeks.
Theresa May is thought to be prepared to considerably increase the £20bn she has already offered. Mr Johnson has previously said the EU could “go whistle”.
“You don’t pay your bill at a restaurant halfway through, you pay at the end. That’s sensible business,” said an ally of the Foreign Secretary.
Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, said: “They think we blinked in Florence and now they believe we will blink again. We must not blink.
“The one big hand we have is money. They are desperate. If we give away that we give away any chance of getting a good free trade agreement. The two get decided at the same time.The money is critical, we cannot give any more ground on this. Tory Eurosceptics are getting really unnerved by this. It is stretching them to breaking.”