Boris Johnson has said Britain will pay “not a penny more, not a penny less” than it has to after Brexit after previously saying Brussels should “go whistle” over the so-called divorce bill.
The Foreign Secretary said Britain will meet its legal obligations to the bloc as he faced questions about his earlier stance over a potential financial settlement.
He made the remarks in the Commons in July when grilled by MPs over demands from Brussels that Britain must pay a bill of tens of billions of pounds to cover the cost of Brexit.
Asked whether Britain would have to pay, Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Of course we will meet our obligations, we are law-abiding, bill-paying people. The UK has contributed hundreds of billions over the years… well, we will certainly meet our obligations.”
Mr Johnson said he would not “haggle” over the figure, adding: “I can give you an absolute clear, precise answer and that is we should pay not a penny more, not a penny less of what we think our legal obligations amount.”
He dodged questions on whether he would support a transition deal, backed by Chancellor Philip Hammond, which would allow for temporary arrangements on trading conditions after Brexit.
Mr Johnson said “speed and efficiency” were a priority if there was a transition period on membership of the customs union.
Negotiators are gearing up for the third round of formal talks in Brussels next week, following the publication of a number of Government position papers on crucial matters such as trade and the role of the European Court of Justice post-Brexit.