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One a day Live

Reports that €45-55bn Brexit ’divorce’ deal has been agreed are dismissed by UK government sources

Brexit talks between the UK and European Union are continuing as officials played down suggestions that a deal has been reached on the so-called divorce bill.

Reports suggested an agreement in principle has been reached which would see Theresa May increase her offer and pay between €45-55billion.

But a British source said they did not recognise the figure in the Daily Telegraph and stressed that talks were ongoing in Brussels.

The Telegraph report - citing unnamed sources on both sides of the negotiations - said a deal had been reached, removing one of the three stumbling blocks to progress in the Brexit negotiations.

The Prime Minister needs progress on the financial settlement, citizens’ rights and the Irish border within days to keep her hopes of European Union leaders agreeing to start trade talks in December alive.

A breakthrough is needed before a December 4 meeting with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the Telegraph said terms on the financial settlement were agreed late last week.

The newspaper said the final figure, which is deliberately being left open to interpretation, could be up to £49 billion depending on how each side calculates the output from an agreed methodology.

But a British Government source told the Press Association: "I don’t recognise it at all.

"There are ongoing discussions in Brussels this week."

The problem of the Irish border has emerged in recent weeks as a major difficulty in securing sufficient progress before the December 14-15 European Council and the two sides in the Brexit negotiations are still at odds over the role of the European Court of Justice in enforcing citizens’ rights after Brexit.

A Department for Exiting the EU spokesman said: "Intensive talks between the UK and the European Commission continue to take place in Brussels this week as we seek to reach an agreement."

Downing Street made no response to the report, while a spokesman for the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said: "We would not have any comment on it."