Boris Johnson says Britain will meet EU '˜more than halfway' on Brexit bill
The Foreign Secretary has previously claimed Brussels could “go whistle” if they expected the UK to pay an exorbitant bill to withdraw from the EU.
Reports emerged last week of the UK’s willingness to agree to a £49 billion settlement for the divorce bill.
Fielding questions following his speech on global terrorism, Mr Johnson he had backed down from his earlier ‘go whistle’ warning to EU leaders.
“I am often teased or abused for saying, or allegedly saying, that people could go whistle for certain sums,” Mr Johnson said.
“I was asked my reaction to some of the very extortionate sums that I had heard in the region of £80bn or £100bn.
“I don’t want to repeat the offending phrase, but ‘go whistle’ seems to me to be an appropriate reaction to that kind of money.
“When it comes to other sums and other obligations, a more detailed examination of our financial obligations, I think you will find the British Government is absolutely punctilious in wanting to meet our friends more than halfway and to be useful.
“The financial offer we are making is very good, but it is nowhere near the sums I was first invited to comment on.”
EU officials have called on the Prime Minister to come up with a new solution by midnight on Sunday to resolve the Northern Ireland border - the key sticking point that has held up negotiations.