Johnson to Announce Cut in Brexit ‘Divorce Bill’ to $11Bln in Case of No-Deal

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to inform EU leaders during the ongoing G7 summit that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the amount of compensation that London should pay to Brussels would be reduced to 9 billion pounds (about $11 billion), the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.

When Johnson ran for the post of head of the UK Conservative Party, he promised to refuse to pay the European Union 39 billion pounds (about $50 billion) in compensation for Brexit until an agreement satisfying the UK was agreed.

According to the publication, the prime minister intends to reduce the “divorce bill” by 30 billion pounds as a “punishment” for the bloc’s anti-Brexit stance.

The newspaper also noted that London might reduce the amount of compensation even further — to 7 billion pounds, since the transition period-related costs would no longer be needed in case of no-deal.

The United Kingdom was initially supposed to leave the European Union on March 29, but the UK parliament’s failure to approve then-Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal resulted in the deadline being moved to October 31. One of the main obstacles in EU-UK Brexit talks has been the Irish backstop, a solution that entails keeping Northern Ireland in the EU Customs Union, which is now being abolished by Johnson.

Johnson made it clear that he wanted the United Kingdom to leave the European Union on October 31 “come what may,” although he said he preferred an orderly exit. He has been calling on the European Commission to drop the clause that seeks to avoid a hard Irish border by tying the country to the EU customs union, despite Brussels saying it will not reopen negotiations.

The Group of Seven (G7) Summit officially opened in the city of Biarritz in southwestern France on Saturday. More than 13,000 policemen and gendarmes arrived in the region to ensure security at the event.