'Ministers are preparing to offer the EU up to £40billion in divorce payments, Philip Hammond has suggested – as ministers prepare for a crunch meeting on the issue today.
The Chancellor said the Government would make a fresh offer to Brussels ahead of an EU summit next month when leaders are due to decide whether to begin post-Brexit trade talks with the UK.
Mr Hammond put no figure on the new offer, but Brussels sources have suggested the EU will not consider a payment of less than £40billion.
This is double the figure previously offered by Theresa May.
In September, the Prime Minister offered to hand over £20billion to the EU during a two-year transition to a new relationship after Brexit in 2019.
But EU leaders, who are demanding at least £53billion, have rejected the offer as too small. Ministers on a key Cabinet sub-committee are due to hold talks behind closed doors today on how much to offer the EU, and what to demand in return.'
Read more: Theresa May 'set to raise Brexit divorce bill to £40 billion': Government could make fresh offer ahead of next EU summit
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