'Nothing comes for nothing!' David Davis warns EU over Brexit divorce bill compromise

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Posted on Nov 18 2017 - 2:49am by admin

Speaking in Berlin, the EU Exit Secretary insisted the Government had gone far enough in offering to settle the multi-billion divorce bill and was now waiting for a response from Brussels.

The Tory Cabinet minister said: “I want them to compromise. Surprise, surprise, nothing comes for nothing in this world.”

His remarks were directed at German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, who are believed to be the main figures holding up the push towards a Brexit deal between the UK and Brussels.

Mr Davis was believed to be lining up with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in resisting moves to offer Brussels an extra £20billion of UK taxpayers’ cash to try to break the current deadlock in the negotiations.

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David Davis warned European leaders not to expect any further concessions from Britain

I want them to compromise

David Davis

It emerged that Mr Johnson has told Theresa May he cannot accept a further “unilateral” increase in the size of the divorce payment without a written guarantee from Brussels of a future trade deal.

In a BBC interview in Berlin, Mr Davis said Britain had already made a number of concessions and was awaiting a response.

He said: “Always in a negotiation you want the other side to compromise. I want them to compromise. 

“Surprise, surprise, nothing comes for nothing in this world.

“But so far in this negotiation we’ve made quite a lot of compromises.”

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Speaking in Berlin, the EU Exit Secretary insisted the Government had gone far enough

The British Government had made a series of generous offers about guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, the EU Exit Secretary said.

He said: “We have been actually offering some quite creative compromises. We haven’t always got that back.”

Mr Davis pointedly singled out France and Germany as the main obstacles to allowing the Brexit talks to move beyond the divorce bill and on to the crunch issue of trade.

“To be clear Germany and France, you know, it’s the open secret of Europe, they’re the most powerful players on the European Common, of course they are.

“And so what they believe is very influential, sometimes decisively so. But it’s the whole of Europe decision; it’s a 27-country decision.”

Mr Davis also risked irritating hard-line Tory Euro-sceptics by confirming that Britain will remain in the jurisdiction of the EU’s Court of Justice immediately after Brexit in March 2019.

He predicted that the court’s rule in the UK would be phased out during a two-year period to full independence from Brussels.

“The ideal arrangement from our point of view is it starts on the European Court and then we end up with an arbitration mechanism, but that’s a negotiation still to start. What is clear is it starts up on that court,” the Cabinet minister said.

During his visit to Berlin, Mr Davis also confirmed that he had no ambition to succeed Mrs May as prime minster and planned to quit the Government once Britain quits the EU in 2019.

Speaking at an economics summit in the German capital on Thursday evening, the EU Exit Secretary said: “When the Brexit process comes to an end, I’ll come to an end too. 

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Mr Davis urged Chancellor Merkel and President Macron to allow the talks to accelerate

“I won’t be there. I have no ambitions beyond that.”

Mr Davis has visited both Berlin and Paris in recent weeks in an attempt to urged Chancellor Merkel and President Macron to allow the talks to accelerate.

EU leaders are due to decide whether to allow the discussions to move on to the crucial second phase when they gather for a summit in Brussels next month.

Government sources have already indicated that Mrs May is willing to pay around £18billion towards the divorce bill and she is now understood to be being pressed by Chancellor Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark to more than double the offer next month.

But Mr Johnson is digging in against the move and is believed to have the backing of Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox as well as Mr Davis.

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