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May expects Brexit divorce bill to rise to £40bn

May expects Brexit divorce bill to rise to £40bn

Britain will increase its financial offer to the EU if ministers give the go-ahead today, in a bid to get Brexit negotiations moving.

Prime Minister Theresa May pledged £20 billion in her Florence speech earlier this year.

According to The Times, the new offer will likely add another £20 billion on top of that, to be paid over the course of several years as and when various bills are due. The original £20 billion covers Britain’s share of the current EU budget.

The paper said ministers were expected to sign off on the extra payment today.

The Daily Telegraph reports that chancellor Philip Hammond has put May under pressure to increase the so-called ‘divorce bill’. Asked when the final bill would be made clear, Hammond said Britain would set out its proposal in time for a crucial meeting of EU leaders on 14 December.

However, the Telegraph said today’s Cabinet Brexit committee meeting would see May pressed to set out exactly what Britain will get in return for the money, before she goes ahead with increasing the offer.

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