Theresa May ‘to offer £18bn divorce bill’ in Brexit speech as she smooths over row with Boris Johnson

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Germany’s Angela Merkel has been told to expect the 20bn-Euro offer in a major speech this Friday, the Financial Times said

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Theresa May is set to offer a Brexit divorce bill of around £18bn, it’s reported today after she smoothed over a damaging row with Boris Johnson.

Germany’s Angela Merkel has been told to expect the 20bn-Euro offer in a major speech this Friday, the Financial Times said.

Downing Street said the figure was “speculation” – but has not denied it.

And it comes after other reports Mrs May would offer Brussels around £10bn a year as she tries to stop dramatic changes during a transition period after March 2019.

Mrs May’s event in Florence on Friday – her biggest Brexit speech since January – is a bid to break a deadlock in talks with Brussels that’s dragged on for months.

The address will be attended by Boris Johnson after he and the Tory leader clashed over Brexit .

 
In a Transatlantic farce, the Prime Minister was busy in New York… (Image: PA)
 
… and so was her rival Boris Johnson, who claimed to be ‘mystified’ by the furore (Image: Sky News)

Mr Johnson defied her authority last week by publishing a 4,000-word screed laying out his vision for leaving the EU.

But after days of reports he could quit, last night he insisted he was “mystified” by claims of coup saying: “Not me guv.”

And he accepted the need for a divorce bill, telling the Guardian: “I don’t think the sums should be too high, but it is obviously legitimate and right that we should pay our dues – we are a law-abiding country – during the period of membership.”

 
Italy. Tuscany. Florence. Piazza della Signoria. David Statue
Theresa May will give a major speech on Brexit in Florence next Friday (Image: Getty)

In a Transatlantic farce, the senior Tory minister and his boss were both at the UN in New York last night but it was unclear exactly whether or when they would meet.

Last night they were both expected to attend a private reception for Commonwealth leaders.

Mrs May will address the UN this afternoon then fly home to brief the Cabinet on the speech tomorrow morning.

The set-piece address is the Prime Minister’s biggest Brexit statement since her Lancaster House speech in January.

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