Pound hits two-month high as UK 'agrees' framework to settle £50bn divorce bill

The offer has been given a ‘broad welcome’ by Brussels

Sterling has jumped to its highest level since the end of September amid reports that the UK has agreed in-principle to EU demands on the Brexit divorce bill, which could be worth up to €45-55bn (£40-49bn), in an attempt to start discussing trade.

While there has been no final agreement on a number, the offer has been given a “broad welcome” by Brussels, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said.Officials close to the negotiations were reported as saying there was broad agreement on a framework for the UK to settle liabilities.

If confirmed, the move could clear the way for Prime Minister Theresa May of moving Brexit negotiations on to the issue of trade at the European Council summit on December 14-15. The amount of money the UK will pay as part of Brexit has been one of the main sticking points in the first round of negotiations with the EU.

A spokesman for the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier declined to comment. Meanwhile, Downing Street has stated: “Negotiations are ongoing. There is, as yet, no settlement.”

In September, May had suggested that the UK was willing to pay about 20bn euros, follwoing which the EU has been calling for its offer to be increased.

The UK is hoping to move on to talking about trade but the EU will only do this when it deems “sufficient progress” has been made on three areas — the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit and the Irish border.

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