Boris Johnson says talk of payments for EU single market access 'is speculation'

Updated: 

Boris Johnson has said suggestions the UK could continue paying in to the EU after Brexit to secure access to the single market were just "speculation".

The Foreign Secretary said on BBC1´s The Andrew Marr Show that Britain's withdrawal from the EU would mean the return of "very large sums of money" to be spent by the UK Government on priorities such as the NHS.

His comments came after Brexit Secretary David Davis suggested in the Commons on Thursday that the Government could be willing to pay to maintain access to the single market.

Johnson, who led the official Leave campaign, acknowledged that Brexit negotiations were likely to be difficult at times but he said that there remained a lot of goodwill towards Britain despite the vote to leave the EU.

Boris Johnson
(Victoria Jones/PA)

"What the EU wants to achieve is a partnership," he said.

Johnson described the referendum as the "biggest apple of discord I've ever seen hurled into British politics".

He said: "It split families, it split parties, it was really painful and I don't want to see that happen again. I think for the Liberal Democrats to burble on and with (shadow Brexit minister) Keir Starmer to burble on about having a second referendum is totally mad."