New UK Brexit chief: We may not pay exit fee if no deal

Britain's new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab leaves 10 Downing Street after it was announced he was appointed to the job in London, Monday, July 9, 2018. Former U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis said Monday that he won't seek to challenge Prime Minister Theresa May's leadership after resigning from her Cabinet. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON — Britain’s new Brexit chief has suggested Britain might not pay its 39 billion pound ($51 billion) divorce bill if no trade agreement with the European Union is reached.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab told the Sunday Telegraph that there must be “conditionality” between Britain making the exit payment and its ability to create a new relationship with the EU.

He says “you can’t have one side fulfilling its side of the bargain and the other side not, or going slow, or failing to commit on its side.”

Raab replaced David Davis, who resigned two weeks ago to protest Prime Minister Theresa May’s “soft” Brexit plan.

Britain and the EU remain far apart on terms of a new trade setup. May’s Conservative Party is also deeply split over what Brexit policy to support. /ee

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