The European Union has warned the U.K. government that it needs to accept an exit bill before Brexit talks can progress.
It is a question of "trust" and "responsibility" to accept that the U.K. has to settle the accounts before it departs from the bloc, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday, just days before the second round of Brexit talks takes place.
"I am not hearing any whistling, just a clock ticking," Barnier told journalists in Brussels, drawing the U.K.'s attention to the fact that it only has until March of 2019 to agree on a future relationship with the EU.
His comments were also in direct response to words from the U.K.'s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. On Tuesday, Johnson said in the U.K. Parliament that European leaders could "go whistle" if they expect the U.K. to pay a large Brexit divorce bill.
The exit bill has been one of the most controversial subjects following the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union. Brussels wants the U.K. to pay for the financial commitments it made as a member of the EU, but in London, officials are reluctant to give any more to the EU as they want to claim financial and legislative independence from the member bloc.