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Boris Johnson, favorite to succeed Theresa May at the head of the British government, threatens to refuse to pay the Brexit bill if he becomes Prime Minister, in order to obtain a better exit agreement from the European Union (EU) ), which earned him Sunday a scathing response from France.

The former Foreign Minister and former mayor of London is one of the 11 candidates for the succession of Theresa May at the head of the Conservative Party, which she officially resigned Friday, failed to federate the British behind its exit plan from the European Union.

“I think our friends and partners need to understand that the money will be kept until we are clearer about what lies ahead. To get a good deal, silver is an excellent solvent and a very good lubricant, “said Boris Johnson in an interview with The Sunday Times .

The “Brexit bill” is the share of financial commitments that Theresa May agreed in December to pay to the next European budgets, amounting to 35 to 39 billion pounds (58 to 66 billion dollars).

Not paying this “bill” is like defaulting on its sovereign debt, says France.

“Not honoring its payment obligations, it is a breach of international commitment equivalent to a default on its sovereign debt, with the consequences that we know,” said Sunday in the entourage of the head of the state.

Lower income tax

Other candidates for Theresa May’s succession also want to renegotiate or amend the Brexit agreement, but none of them has threatened not to pay the exit bill negotiated with the EU last year.

The EU has repeatedly stated that, without the payment of the divorce, it would not reopen the discussion on the transitional agreement with the United Kingdom, rejected by the House of Commons three times, or would not negotiate a future trade agreement with Great Britain.

According to the Telegraph , for which Boris Johnson writes a weekly column, the former minister proposes to lower taxes for the middle class, an estimated measure of more than C $ 16.6 billion a year. funded by the money currently set aside in the government budget to deal with the consequences of Brexit.

Boris Johnson would raise the threshold from which workers start paying 40 per cent of income tax from $ 84,000 to $ 135,000 per year.

Boris Johnson also told the Sunday Times that the border agreements with Ireland should only be settled in the context of a long-term agreement, thus rejecting the backstop to preserve an open border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland, but the Eurosceptics consider a maneuver to force Britain to continue to follow the rules of the EU after Brexit.

The physical border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland was abolished by the 1998 peace accords, which ended three decades of community violence in the province of Northern Ireland.

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