‘Rough and tumble’: Davis dismisses ‘huge’ Brexit bill suggestions

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Brexit secretary David Davis dismissed the “huge numbers” that were being suggested as the country’s Brexit bill as part of the “rough and tumble” of both sides preparing for tough negotiations.

“I don’t think that’s where we will end up,” David Davis, Brexit secretary, told the BBC’s Today programme. “I know that’s not where we’re going to end up.”

Mr Davis said that Britain would “honour our international obligations, our legal obligations”, but ruled out the idea that the European Court of Justice could be the arbiter of any dispute.

“When we leave we will be outside the remit of the ECJ,” he said. “We are going not as a supplicant but as a negotiator.”

Mr Davis said that Theresa May would be “leading our negotiation and I will be supporting her”.

Mr Davis said EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker was worried that the EU would split during the talks and that the UK would pursue “divide and rule” tactics, but he insisted the UK wanted to talk to a unified bloc of 27.

On Michel Barnier, the Commission’s Brexit negotiator Mr Davis said: “You’ll never hear a word of criticism from me. He’s tough, he’s straightforward, he’s French, he’s very elegant, and he’s determined but he’s also done deals in the past. We’ve seen it when he was financial commissioner.”

While Mrs May reserved the right to walk away without a deal, he said: “Nobody is looking for that outcome. We want a deal – we think we can get a deal.”

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