MP: Brexit bill has gone from go whistle to what's your sort code

PUBLISHED: 14:52 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 19:51 30 November 2017

SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart


Britain has shifted from "go whistle" to "what's your sort code" over the Brexit divorce bill, MPs were told today.

Pete Wishart, the SNP's Commons spokesman, claimed the total bill "must now come close to hundreds of billions of pounds" as he criticised "chaotic cluelessness" over Brexit.

He asked for a parliamentary debate about the "true cost of Brexit", which could help disclose if there was a price which would make the government think again about leaving the EU.

In July Boris Johnson said Brussels should "go whistle" over the financial settlement, but later insisted the UK would pay "not a penny more, not a penny less".

Reports earlier this week suggested that broad agreement had been reached on a framework for the UK to settle liabilities expected to total around €45-55bn (£40-£49bn), although Theresa May said negotiations were ongoing.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Wishart said: "The latest piece of Brexit chaotic cluelessness comes in the form of a £50bn repayment bill.

"It's apparently gone from go whistle to what's your sort code?

"The total bill to the United Kingdom of leaving the European Union due to this Brexit madness must now come close to hundreds of billions of pounds.

"That is why we must see these Brexit sectoral impact assessments. We need a proper debate about the true cost of Brexit and we need to hear if there's any price that would make this government think again."

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom, in her reply, said of the bill: "It is simply something that is part of the negotiations.

"The government is committed to seeking the best possible deal for the United Kingdom as we leave the European Union.

"The negotiations are in a positive phase, we hope to see some good, constructive results from the December council and we all await those negotiations with enormous interest."

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