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UK says will not a pay penny more than necessary for Brexit bill

Junior Brexit minister Steve Baker says Britain will not pay the European Union a penny more than it needs as part of its Brexit settlement.

“We know that we have rights and obligations and we are testing the European claims, but we won’t pay a penny more than we need to,” Baker told Sky News on Thursday.

Baker also criticized colleagues trying to avert a so-called hard Brexit, insisting there will be no compromise on Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans.

On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the sums of money the EU is to demand from Britain as part of its Brexit settlement “seem to be extortionate.”

“The sums I have seen that they propose to demand from this country appear to be extortionate,” Johnson told lawmakers in Parliament.

“Go whistle seems to me to be an entirely appropriate expression,” he added. The phrase go whistle means to ask for something with little chance of obtaining it.

However, Johnson told MPs not reaching any Brexit arrangement with the EU was unlikely as it was in the interests of both sides to reach an understanding. “There is no plan for no deal because we are going to get a great deal.”

The EU has demanded tens of billions of euros from Britain as part of its “Brexit bill” before Brussels launches talks on a free trade agreement with London.

Reports have suggested the demand from the EU could be as high as 100 billion euros (84.58 billion pounds). The UK government has said it will not pay this amount but will settle its “obligations” as it leaves.

Nearly 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the EU referendum in June last year. The United Kingdom formally triggered the Brexit process on March 29 and divorce negotiations officially began on June 19.

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