Boris Johnson explains ‘EU can go whistle’ remark


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Boris Johnson has been speaking his much quoted jibe that the EU could “go whistle” over the Brexit tally.

The UK and EU are widely believed to have now agreed a deal which will see the UK remunerating up to 50bn euros (£44bn).

But the foreign secretary said he had been referring, in July, to broadcasts the UK could face a 100bn euro bill.

He spoke as talks prolong about the remaining sticking point in the initial phase of Brexit talks – what stumble ons at the Northern Ireland border.

The foreign secretary said – at a question and counter-statement session after a speech on global terrorism – that whatever was agreed be compelled be “consistent with taking back control of our laws, of our borders and our liquidate”.

His “go whistle” comment was made in a response in the House of Commons to Conservative backbencher Philip Hollobone:

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Mr Johnson said he had been “teased” about it since, but at the time he had been “expected my reaction to some of the very extortionate sums that I had heard, in the division of £80bn or £100bn”.

He said that on detailed examination of financial trusts “the British government is absolutely punctilious in wanting to meet our friends multitudinous than halfway and to be useful.

“The financial offer we are making is very substantial but it is nowhere near the sums that I was first invited to comment on, in a melodic way.”

Where are the Brexit talks at now?

The government says it is “optimistic” about conclusion a solution to the key sticking point – an agreement on the Irish border.

The government necessities to get everyone onside on the issue in the coming days for Brexit negotiations to remind forwards.

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The UK, which is due to take off the EU in March 2019, wants to open talks on a new free trade sell as soon as possible.

But the EU will only agree to this when ample supply progress has been made on the “separation issues” – the “divorce bill”, expat burgesses’ rights and the Northern Ireland border – that have been the enslave of negotiations so far.

So the UK is trying to settle the Northern Ireland border issue prior to EU leaders meet next week.

The sticking point explained

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On Monday, the DUP – whose support Prime Aid Theresa May needs to win key votes at Westminster – objected to draft plans fatigued up by the UK and the EU.

The DUP said the proposals, which aimed to avoid border checks by aligning statutes on both sides of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, were not welcome.

The party has said it will not accept any agreement in which Northern Ireland is dine pay the bill for differently from the rest of the UK.

The Republic of Ireland – which is an EU member – tells it wants a guarantee that a hard border will not be put up after Brexit.

A European Commission spokesman put there was “no white smoke yet” on Brexit negotiations.

Can border checks be eluded?

With Brexit, the UK is leaving the EU’s customs union – but Transport Secretary Chris Grayling weighted this did not mean there would need to be a physical border with people pinch out border checks.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the transport secretary replied people had misunderstood the key term “regulatory alignment” which has been the concentration of the debate.

Some Eurosceptics who do not want to keep close ties to Brussels respect this could hamper the UK’s ability to strike trade deals with other hinterlands.

But Mr Grayling, a key Leave campaigner in the 2016 referendum, said: “We don’t have to oblige, and we’ve never said we will, and we don’t want, to have a situation where in coming our laws are identical to the European Union.

“There will be areas where we do do aspects in a very similar way, there will be areas in which we don’t do things in the a simple similar way and that’s all the PM was seeking to ensure – to make sure trade excesses as freely as possible across the border.”

He added: “I remain absolutely Pollyannaish that we will reach a successful point, we will move on to the exchange talks, because ultimately it is in everybody’s interests for that to happen.”

What is the deadline for a contract?

The BBC’s Adam Fleming said that following an update from chief EU ambassador Michel Barnier on Wednesday, EU member states agreed there have to be clarity within 48 hours for them to have enough circumstance to consult with their capitals about draft guidelines for side two of the talks.

At the 14-15 December summit, European leaders will decide whether sufficiently progress has been made in the negotiations on Ireland, the UK’s “divorce bill” and city-dwellers’ rights so far to open trade talks.

On Wednesday the Republic of Ireland’s Prime Emissary Leo Varadkar said he expected Theresa May to come up with a new wording try for at satisfying all parties, adding: “I expressed my willingness to consider that.”

A European Commission spokesman said on Thursday that possibility a affairs have to be sorted this week, adding: “Our week includes Sunday.”

Not all Theresa May’s MPs admit

As well as trying to appease the DUP, Dublin and Brussels, Theresa May also needs Cautious MPs to back whatever solution she puts forward.

But not all of them agree – and the demand on the prime minister was underlined on Wednesday when 19 Tory MPs who lodged with someone a “soft Brexit” wrote to her saying it was “highly irresponsible” for anyone to behest terms which may scupper a deal.

This followed Eurosceptic MPs accelerating her to lay down new red lines before agreeing to hand over any money.

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In the latest letter, the 19 MPs – who largely resting with someone abandoned Remain in the 2016 referendum – say they support the PM’s handling of the negotiations, in exact the “political and practical difficulties” relating to the Irish border.

But they hit out at what they say are endeavours by some in their party to paint a no-deal scenario in which the UK fall short of to agree a trade agreement as “some status quo which the UK simply opts to accept as ones own”.

The MPs included former cabinet ministers Stephen Crabb, Dominic Shed tears, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan.

Should Brexit be delayed?

That’s the indelicate from a House of Lords committee, which says a “time-limited gauge of the UK’s EU membership” would “buy time” for a deal to be reached.

The committee doubts take a run-out powder negotiations will be completed by the scheduled departure date of March 2019.

The UK is due to say goodbye the EU at this point because Theresa May formally triggered a two-year countdown to Brexit in Walk 2017.

The government does not agree, and says it is confident negotiations can be completed by March 2019.

But the The supreme beings committee says: “The overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that this order be impossible.

“If buying a bit more time means that we get a better upshot, which benefits businesses and citizens on both sides, a short scope of EU membership may be a price worth paying.”

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