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Nov 21, 5:38 AM EST

Reports: UK preparing to increase 'Brexit bill' offer


LONDON (AP) -- British media reports say the U.K. is planning to offer more money to settle its "Brexit bill" with the European Union, but only if the EU agrees to start discussing a future free-trade deal.

The bill is a key sticking point in divorce negotiations. Britain has previously offered about 20 billion euros ($23 billion), but the EU wants at least 60 billion euros ($70 billion).

British media said Tuesday that the Cabinet's Brexit committee had agreed to increase the offer to about 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

May's office declined to confirm the amount, but said that "the U.K. and the EU should step forward together" to unblock the negotiations.

EU leaders are due to decide at a Dec. 14-15 summit whether talks can enter a new phase.

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