Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

EU Brexit Head Says U.K. Must Be `Educated' on Cost, BBC Reports

  • Barnier made comments at a conference in Italy, BBC reports
  • Warned of ’extremely serious consequences’ of British exit

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the British people need to be "educated" about the price they will be pay for quitting the bloc, according to the BBC on Sunday, citing comments made at a conference in Italy.

Michel Barnier

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

"There are extremely serious consequences of leaving the single market and it hasn’t been explained to the British people," Barnier said Saturday at the Ambrosettii forum in Cernobbio, Italy, the BBC said. "We intend to teach people" what leaving the single market means.

A spokesman for Barnier declined to comment on the content of the speech, citing off-the- record rules imposed for the talk at the fourm.

Barnier’s comments followed the third round of increasingly acrimonious Brexit negotiations in Brussels last week. Barnier said in Italy he would never resort to blackmail, but insisted the U.K. must accept some basic principles, such as honoring the commitment to pay 14 percent of the EU’s budget until 2020, the BBC reported.

U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis dismissed as “nonsense” a report published in The Sunday Times newspaper that Prime Minister Theresa May is set to approve paying as much as 50 billion pounds ($64.8 billion) to leave the EU.

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