Wednesday 22 January 2020

'UK obliged to pay' - Varadkar responds to Dominic Raab threat over non-payment of £39bn EU settlement

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA

Shona Murray

Britain should consider the damage to its international relationship if it tries to renege on its financial commitment to the EU, the Taoiseach has warned.

Mr Varadkar was responding to a threat made by British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab who suggested the UK could now insist on "conditionality" to its previous agreement to pay off the money it owes Brussels.

The financial settlement is an estimated figure that the UK is obliged to pay the EU based on the various outstanding commitments that exist from over 45 years of EU membership.

“The settlement which the UK has agreed to in principal, bear in mind, are obligations and commitments that they have already made.

“I think any country seeking to make treaties and agreements into the future will want to honour those obligations," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Varadkar was speaking from the Croatian capital, Zagreb where he held a bi-lateral meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

Mr Plenkovic described Brexit as a “lose, lose, lose situation” and was won through "manipulation by populists" such as Nigel Farage.

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