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EU money demands for Brexit deal 'seem extortionate': UK's Johnson

Reuters  |  LONDON 

(Reuters) - The sums of money the European Union is to demand from as part of its Brexit settlement "seem to be extortionate", British Foreign Secretary Boris said on Tuesday.

The wants an agreement on how the "Brexit bill" will be calculated before launching talks on a free trade agreement. It puts Britain's financial settlement at tens of billions of euros and includes covering a share of future budget commitments made while it was a member.

Asked by a lawmaker in parliament if the should be told to "go whistle" if it wants money from to leave the bloc, said: "I think that the sums that I have seen ... seem to me to be extortionate and I think go whistle is an entirely appropriate expression." The phrase means to ask for something with little chance of obtaining it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she could walk away from the without a Brexit agreement if she believed the deal on offer was worse than not reaching any arrangement.

said this was unlikely as it was in the interests of both sides to reach an understanding, but asked to spell out what "no deal" would mean, he said: "There is no plan for no deal because we are going to get a great deal."

May's spokesman said contingency planning was taking place for "a range of scenarios".

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Alistair Smout, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Janet Lawrence)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 11 2017. 17:50 IST