Liam Fox accuses European Union of trying to 'blackmail' United Kingdom over Brexit deal

A broken Union flag on the backdrop of the EU flag

The Sunday Times first reported that Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing proposals, set to be released after the Conservative party conference in October, which would see the United Kingdom make payments of between £7bn and £17bn a year to Brussels for three years after Brexit.

He said there was an assumption when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998 that both the Republic and the United Kingdom would remain in Europe.

'The only people who can reverse it would be the British people and I am not a dreamer, I am a realist.

Meanwhile Mr Barnier claimed he needed to educate the United Kingdom about the price it would pay for leaving the bloc.

Specifically, the United Kingdom is contesting assertions it should be made to pay into the European Union budget until 2020 - while Europe maintains that is most definitely the case as David Cameron committed to the seven-year budget as prime minister in 2013.

The mandate of the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, says that Britain should "fully cover" the costs of relocating European Union agencies from its territory but it is unclear whether Barnier will insist on this issue, as he discusses much larger financial commitments with his British counterpart.

Protesters wearing European Union flag masks
Protesters wearing European Union flag masks

"We can't be blackmailed into paying a price on the first part", Fox said.

The EU Parliament's press release says that Brussels and London failed to reach significant progress in talks, in particular on the issue of United Kingdom financial obligations to the bloc after withdrawal. And he added: "I said last week that while our discussions were fruitful, it's clear that a lot more substantial work needs to be done, in particular we need to continue discussions on all the areas of north-south cooperation".

At a joint press conference with David Davis, Barnier said there has been "no decisive progress" and that were still "quite far" away from being in a position to begin talks on future trade arrangements. "In turn, we expect the associated political instability to drive weaker consumption and investment, and push growth to a standstill, leading the [Bank of England] to consider - but in the end decide against - easing policy to support growth", they write. Typically, with negotiations, as time goes on you see the pace pick up.

The Brexit Secretary claimed Mr Barnier "wants to put pressure on us, which is why the stance this week in the press conference - bluntly, I think it looked a bit silly because there plainly were things that we had achieved".

After a summer break, Parliament will return tomorrow (September 5) and the Prime Minister Theresa May could face a tough first week.

Prime Minister Theresa May has warned lawmakers that Britain could be faced with a Brexit "cliff edge" if they failed to back her European Union repeal bill, as reports suggested momentum was growing within her party to unseat her.

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