Davis Warns UK Will Walk Away if Provoked

Brexit Secretary David Davis flatly rejected a reported bill of as much as 100 billion euros ($109 billion) from the European Union, and threatened to walk away from the bloc without a deal if provoked.

Britain would have no obligation to pay a Brexit bill if it leaves the EU without an accord, Davis said on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on Wednesday. While “nobody is looking for that outcome” since the goal is to reach an agreement with the EU, “we have to maintain the alternative option” of walking away, he said.

The threat illustrates the escalating rhetoric between London and Brussels before talks to leave the bloc even begin. Prime Minister Theresa May vowed on Tuesday she wouldn’t be pushed about in the talks, saying that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is learning she can be “bloody difficult.” Those comments were prompted by leaked details of a dinner meeting between the leaders which alleged that Juncker was shocked by her approach to negotiating Brexit.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.