David Davis tells MPs UK will not pay Brexit divorce bill until Northern Ireland row fixed

Posted On: 
1st March 2018

David Davis has reportedly assured Conservative MPs the UK will not pay the multi-billion pound Brexit divorce bill unless Brussels backs down in the row over Northern Ireland.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has moved to reassure MPs
Credit: 
PA Images

The Brexit Secretary insisted the UK would not agree the final bill until “all the issues” concerning the UK had been ironed out, according to the Times and the Sun.

It comes as an ally of Boris Johnson accused “ultra-Remainers” of using the Northern Ireland issue as a “proxy war to stop Brexit”.

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Theresa May said yesterday that “no UK prime minister” could accept some of the proposals set out by Brussels as part of its draft withdrawal agreement published yesterday.

The proposed legal text essentially suggested keeping Northern Ireland in the customs union and parts of the single market as a last resort if no other deal was reached - a move that would effectively create a new border in the Irish Sea.

It sparked outrage among MPs from across the political divide - including, crucially, the 10 DUP MPs who prop up the Government.

Mr Davis sought to reassure MPs that Britain would use its divorce deal cash as a bargaining chip to prevent the EU forcing the effective breakup of the UK.

He also said the Government would refuse to grant the European Court of Justice the power to rule over Brexit disputes, according to the reports.

And he said the Government would reject proposed sanctions for breaching the terms of the Brexit deal.

'PROXY WAR'

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the UK had to come forward with its own proposals for preventing a hard border with Northern Ireland.

He told Newstalk Radio: “It’s not OK for people, whether pro-Brexit politicians in Britain or parties in Northern Ireland, to just say 'no' now.”

But an ally of Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson told the Daily Telegraph: “The ultra-Remainers are determined to do everything in their power to stop the democratic will of the people who voted to leave.

“The Irish border issue is being used as a proxy war to stop Brexit.”

The Prime Minister will today meet European Council president Donald Tusk for talks ahead of her big speech on Brexit tomorrow.