Boris Johnson has suggested European leaders can “go whistle” if they expect Britain to pay a divorce bill for withdrawing from the European Union.
Facing questions over the UK’s future after Brexit, the Foreign Secretary also told MPs that the Government had “no plan for no deal” because of its confidence over securing a strong Brexit settlement with the bloc.
Mr Johnson’s comments come after Number 10 sources played down suggestions that Theresa May plans to walk out of Brexit talks in September to show defiance over EU demands for a divorce bill worth tens of billions of pounds.
Tory Eurosceptic Philip Hollobone, the MP for Kettering, pressed Mr Johnson on the issue during Foreign Office questions.
He said: “Since we joined the Common Market on January 1 1973 until the day we leave, we will have given the EU and its predecessors, in today’s money, in real terms, a total of £209 billion.
“Will you make it clear to the EU that if they want a penny piece more then they can go whistle?
Mr Johnson replied: “I’m sure that your words will have broken like a thunderclap over Brussels and they will pay attention to what you have said.
“He makes a very valid point and I think that the sums that I have seen that they propose to demand from this country seem to me to be extortionate and I think ‘to go whistle’ is an entirely appropriate expression.”