June 9, 2019 / 4:53 PM / 11 days ago

UK not paying Brexit bill would be debt default, French source says

PARIS (Reuters) - A source close to French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that failing to pay a 39 billion pound Brexit bill when Britain leaves the European Union would amount to a sovereign debt default.

“Not honouring your payment obligations is a failure of international commitments equivalent to a sovereign debt default, whose consequences are well known,” the source told Reuters.

Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as leader of Britain’s Conservative party and therefore its next prime minister, said in a newspaper interview that he would withhold the previously agreed Brexit payment until the EU gave Britain better exit terms.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Laurence Frost and Kevin Liffey

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