Cabinet rebels demand May hold back £39bn Brexit bill – unless EU plays ball on trade deal



Harvey Gavin | The Express

Five senior ministers including Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox are also pushing for last-minute changes to the Irish border backstop outlined in the draft withdrawal agreement. In a series of meetings with the Prime Minister this week, the Cabinet rebels put forward amendments to make the controversial divorce deal more palatable to Leave supporters, according to BuzzFeed News. And the demands made by the so-called ‘gang of five’ reportedly include refusing to cough up some of the £39 billion divorce bill unless the EU plays ball on trade. The massive figure has enraged some Brexiteers who insist the UK is under no obligation to pay. But the UK agreed to cover its commitments to the EU’s long-term budget in the early stages of the exit talks. Now, Brexit-backing Cabinet ministers have suggested Mrs May hold back part of the huge sum unless sufficient progress is made with Brussels in thrashing out a future UK-EU relationship, BuzzFeed News reports.

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