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Boris Johnson would freeze $50 mln Brexit debt to EU

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on June 9, 2019 - Duration: 01:16s

Boris Johnson would freeze $50 mln Brexit debt to EU

Boris Johnson says that he'd threaten to withhold nearly $50 million in outstanding liabilities owed by the United Kingdom to the European Union, if he replaces Theresa May as the next British prime minister.

The hardliner wants to use the debt as leverage to renegotiate Brexit terms. Matthew Larotonda reports.

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Boris Johnson would freeze $50 mln Brexit debt to EU

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to replace Theresa May as the next British prime minister, is threatening that if he gets into Downing Street he'd consider freezing almost $50 million owed to the European Union as leverage to renegotiate Brexit.

The money represents outstanding commitments that the country has already made with the EU.

As an EU member Britain has a role in everything from infrastructure projects to scientific research in the bloc.

And, Theresa May had kept that money in her original failed deal - the same deal that has forced her to resign.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BORIS JOHNSON AND VOTER, IN OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN VIDEO, SAYING: JOHNSON: "If I get in we'll come out, deal or no deal, on October the 31st." VOTER: "Good man." That's from Johnson's official campaign video.

He is, of course, much more hardline than Theresa May and was one of the leading architects of the modern Brexit movement.

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper he said he thought it was odd that May would agree to pay the $50 million before her deal was approved by parliament.

It's not clear how Brussels would react to such a tactic if Johnson comes to power.

It's repeatedly said that under no circumstances will it renegotiate the terms it agreed with May last year.

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