Liam Fox's cry of "blackmail"

Press quote (Financial Times)
01 September 2017

Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform argues that the UK request for a transition period after it leaves the EU is key. “If the UK asked for a three-year transition and agreed to pay €10bn a year (roughly what it pays today), that would cover a large part of its share of unspent EU budgetary commitments,” he writes. In other words, the issues of financial settlement and transition are interlinked: “The sequencing can be fixed with a bit of creativity and goodwill from each side.”There are problems, however. As Mr Grant argues, there are hardliners on both sides of the channel. The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has projected himself as someone reluctant to sign away tens of billions of pounds as the price for Brexit. There are those in the commission, meanwhile, who believe that even if the British are ready to pay €30bn towards their outstanding obligations, they must still pay extra if they want access to the single market during the transition.