Pay us £50billion or face the consequences: EU chief negotiator ramps up threats

ahead of Brexit talks saying there will be NO trade deal unless we agree to huge divorce bill. Britain faces a punishing Brexit settlement or even no deal at all if it refuses to settle a £50billion ‘bill’, the EU’s chief negotiator has warned. Michel Barnier said Britain falling out of the EU without a deal was a ‘distinct possibility’ if it rejected the figure. The Government has said Britain will pay any costs that are genuinely due but ministers have privately said the bill is a maximum of £3billion. Mr Barnier today reiterated his warnings of dire consequences for the UK if it leaves with no agreement, which he first made in a little-noticed speech on the day of the Westminster terror attack. He went further in highlighting the potential of Britain and the EU concluding the two-year withdrawal process under Article 50 of the EU treaties, which Theresa May will trigger on Wednesday, with no agreement. Writing in the Financial Times, the Frenchman said: ‘It goes without saying that a no-deal scenario, while a distinct possibility, would have severe consequences for our people and our economies. ‘It would undoubtedly leave the UK worse off. ‘Severe disruption to air transport and long queues at the Channel port of Dover are just some of the many examples of the negative consequences of failing to reach a deal. ‘Others include the disruption of supply chains, including the suspension of the delivery of nuclear material to the UK. ‘While the 27 member states will find it easier to adjust, as they will still benefit from the single market, the customs union and more than 60 trade deals with their international partners, we believe it is in the best interests of both sides to reach a deal on the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU.