LONDON (Reuters) - Britain could choose to withhold some payments to the European Union if a deal to ease its exit from the bloc is not reached before it leaves in March, Brexit minister Dominic Raab told legislators on Wednesday.
As part of a Brexit transition deal, Britain has agreed to pay the EU between 35 and 39 billion euros ($41-$46 billion) over the coming decades.
But Raab told members of Britain’s upper house of parliament that not all of this was a legal obligation, and payment could be delayed without a deal.
“I don’t think it could be safely assumed on anyone’s side that the financial settlement that has been agreed as part of the withdrawal bill would then just be paid, in precisely the same shape or speed or rate, if there was no deal,” he said.
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison