As we detailed previously, the EU is accusing UK of backtracking on its promise to pay an exorbitant fee to leave the union.
EU negotiators were said to have been left "flabbergasted" after British lawmakers told them there was little or no legal basis for their £90billion claim. A young civil servant reportedly left EU negotiators "open-mouthed" with a line-by-line "technical" demolition of the demand.
Tory grandee John Redwood said last night that there was no legal basis for the demand. He also said Mr Davis had no right to authorise it without parliamentary approval.
"Article 50 is clear," he said. "Once a state leaves it has no further rights and benefits, and no further duties or obligations. It is of course true the treaty does not prevent the EU accepting a payment volunteered by a departing state if it wished to pay one. However, the UK could not make such a payment legally under our own law and system for controlling public spending."
The former Welsh secretary, who voted for Brexit, said ministers have "absolutely no authority to make one-off additional payments to the EU. The only way Mr. Davis could authorize a leaving payment would be to put through an Act of Parliament specifically authorizing such an ex gratia payment. I can't see many Conservative MPs wanting to vote for that."