May 'bowing to EU demands' on Brexit bill
Britian's opposition and the media have accused UK Prime Minister Theresa May of bowing to EU demands after reports that she had raised her offer to the European Union to settle the Brexit "divorce bill."
"The price of a deluded imperial vision of Great Britain post-Brexit: 45 billion pounds ($A83 billion) as well as a loss of influence and trade," said Tom Brake, the Brexit spokesperson for the pro-EU Liberal Democrats, who want a second referendum once a Brexit deal is agreed.
The Financial Times said "Britain bows to EU ... in search of Brexit breakthrough," citing unidentified diplomats as saying the government's offer could see it pay a net sum of up to 45 billion euros.Bethlehem peace light arrives in Germany
The BBC reported the potential "divorce bill" could be worth up to 50 billion euros.
Speaking in Berlin on Wednesday, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said negotiators for Britain and EU are "not yet there" on a financial settlement.
"We are still working," Barnier said.Thousands rally in Pakistan against Trump
UK politicians reacted more strongly, however, with Labour MP Chuka Umunna, a leading supporter of the pro-EU group Open Britain, saying the shift was "very significant."
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Enivronment Secretary Michael Gove and other Leave campaigners "never said there would be a big divorce bill to pay - quite the opposite," Umunna wrote on Twitter.
"This big new fact means the 350 million pounds extra per week for the NHS (National Health Service) - without which Leavers say they would have lost the [Brexit] referendum - simply will not happen," he said.Powerful winds raise California fire risk
Henry Bolton, leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, called the reported offer "outrageous."
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage wrote in Wednesday's Telegraph that the offer reflects a "government sellout to the EU [that] will unite the British people in disgust."