Britain's sterling jumped to a two-month high as investors greeted news reports that Britain and EU had agreed the outlines of a Brexit settlement bill potentially paving the way to a future trade pact. As David Pollard reports, Britain has offered to pay much of what the EU was demanding to settle a Brexit ''divorce bill.''
A breakthrough for Brexit Britain .... At least, such is the hope as markets push sterling up a full per cent .... On reports the UK has offered to pay much of what the EU is demanding to settle a Brexit divorce bill. The pound topping one dollar 34 - for the first time since October. (SOUNDBITE) (English) THINK MARKETS, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, NAEEM ASLAM, SAYING: "I think it's a remarkable that we've been able to clear this had all because this was one of the thorniest issues when it comes to Brexit negotiations. That particular issue put the entire negotiation process in a deadlock." Fifty billion euros the figure mentioned - the EU has previously mooted 60. EU officials describe the offer as 'promising' ... While warning of work still to be done. (SOUNDBITE) (French) EUROPEAN UNION BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, MICHEL BARNIER, SAYING: "We are working really hard, so that I can say to the European Council in several days' time that we have made progress sufficient to proceed to the second stage of negotiations." The second stage being the full trade talks Britain desperately wants. And still needs to clear two other major hurdles to get ... An agreement on EU citizens' rights - and the even more vexed question of the Irish border. Britain has yet to satisfy EU demands that it clarify how it would avoid a 'hard' frontier. That issue now displacing money as the most difficult ahead. Money, though, could still be Philip Hammond's biggest challenge .... The UK finance minister potentially facing a massive new bill to meet - and major questions over how he can do that.