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David Davis: Brexit bill “conditional” on final deal

The man in charge of Britain's Brexit negotiations has contradicted claims by the chancellor ov..

By admin , in Money , at December 10, 2017

The man in charge of Britain's Brexit negotiations has contradicted claims by the chancellor over the payment of the Brexit "divorce bill" in a fresh cabinet rift.

David Davis has said it wasn't "quite right" that the UK will pay up to £39m regardless of the outcome of negotiations, as Philip Hammond had stated last week.

"It is conditional on an outcome," said Davis. "It's conditional on getting an implementation period, and conditional on a trade outcome… also the other elements of the treaty we’ll strike with them which will be security, foreign affairs, and other things."

Read more: Brexit deal: Here's how British politicians reacted

Hammond told MPs last week that it was "inconceivable that we would walk away from obligations". The comment was slapped down by Downing Street, which said: "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. That applies to the financial settlement."

The likelihood of a no deal situation had dropped "dramatically", however, said Davis, after a last-minute agreement was struck on Friday that was needed to move on to the next phase of talks. He added that the agreement, which established that there would be no hard border in Ireland, was not legally binding but a "statement of intent".

Davis also said that the UK was on its way to a "Canada, plus, plus, plus" deal, based on a trade deal done last year, but more "bespoke" for the UK.

And he said that regulatory alignment with the EU, also agreed on Friday, did not necessarily mean that the UK would have to adopt EU regulation, only that the end result would be the same and could be reached with different methods.

The Brexit secretary also attempted to explain the government's lack of detailed assessment on the impact of leaving the EU after being accused of misleading parliament over the matter.

Davis has insisted that analysis of each sector does not amount to a forecast of how much each industry stands to lose in different scenarios, speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning.

Read more: Sadiq Khan has commissioned Brexit impact reports for London

Some 850 pages of analysis of nearly 50 sectors that includes data such as the size of each, number of people employed and how reliant each is on the EU market has been done, he said.

"Using the word impact doesn't make an impact assessment," he said. "Let me be clear, the impact assessment's got a proper meaning, almost in the law, certainly in the civil service, and the better regulation task force has got a guideline on it."

Last week, Davis told MPs that no impact assessments existed. "I've used sector analysis 999 times out of 1,000," he said responding to criticism that he had previously said detailed impact assessments did exist.

"There's a distinction," he added.

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