In a bid to secure a trade deal, Theresa May looks set to cave in to Brussels demands by handing over around £50 billion to settle the UK’s financial obligations.
But a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday showed many people thought the huge bill was a “punishment” for voting Leave.
It showed 31 per cent of people surveyed thought the UK should pay nothing at all, with only 11 per cent backing a payment of up to £50 billion.
And half of those polled now support holding a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.
Just 34 per cent were against the idea with 16 per cent unsure.
Overall 43 per cent of people thought the EU had done best out of the stalling talks, with 16 per cent saying the UK was on top.
When asked why the UK was paying so much to Brussels, the most popular response was because the “EU wants to punish us”, with Mrs May’s weakens after her election fiasco coming in second.
The survey of 1,003 adults was carried out by Survation on Thursday and Friday, after reports of the bombshell payment.
And the same polling company found Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has surged ahead of the Prime Minister in the popularity stakes.
Further polling showed Labour eight points ahead of the Tories at 45 per cent compared to just 37 per cent for Mrs May’s party.
Today’s news is another bitter blow for Mrs May who is already facing discontent from Eurosceptic MPs over the way negotiations have gone.
The Prime Minister is facing fresh calls from hardline Eurosceptics to walk away from the negotiating table if EU leaders refuse to sanction the start of the second phase of the Brexit talks at their December summit.
Tories including Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Redwood and former chancellor Lord Lawson have signed a letter urging her to refuse to settle the divorce bill unless Brussels agrees to a series of new demands.
And these include settling the terms of a free trade agreement “in principle” by the end of March 2018.
They also want an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the freedom of movement to the UK for EU nationals when the UK leaves a year later on March 30 2019.
On the opposition benches there appears to be growing support for a second referendum on the Brexit deal.
Vince Cable’s Lib Dems back the idea and, in a letter to voters, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott appeared to signal she backed anther poll. She later denied her support for a poll, which goes against official Labour policy.
European Council president Donald Tusk has given Mrs May until tomorrow to come forward with an improved offer on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal.
That includes the divorce bill alongside ongoing concern about the Irish border, both red line issues which the EU wants clarity on before talks can move on to trade.
The Prime Minister is due to travel to Brussels tomorrow when she is expected to explain the latest British position at a lunch with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.