Downing Street sources have played down reports that the UK is prepared to pay a divorce bill of up to £36bn to try and force progress in stalled Brexit talks.

The figure amounting to some €40bn would be offered in a bid to push discussions on from withdrawal and towards a future trade deal, according to reports.

Theresa May is expected to give a speech towards the end of the summer fleshing out details of any offer to Brussels, while a series of papers are expected in coming weeks on how the UK proposes to manage a transition.

A Number 10 official told The Independent that reports the Government was preparing to offer the EU payments of €10bn every year for up to three years after Brexit were “highly speculative and wrong”.

It was claimed on Sunday that the commitment to the ongoing budget payments would then be supplemented with additional money to make up the €40bn figure that UK negotiators hope will break the deadlock in talks.

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