Britain’s Brexit Secretary has accused the European Commission and its chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, of having a "silly" approach to the talks on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

David Davis said the European Union was trying to put pressure on the UK over the demands for a so-called divorce fee, the subject of a bitter row during the latest round of talks.

His comments came as UK Prime Minister Theresa May sought to prevent a Tory rebellion ahead of the first Commons votes on the Brexit legislation.

Mrs May’s allies have warned would-be rebels that they risk seeing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn elected as prime minister if they attempt to water down the so-called Repeal Bill.

The latest round of talks ended in an icy press conference, with Mr Barnier claiming there had been no "decisive" progress on key issues and suggesting there was a lack of trust as a result of the UK's refusal to accept financial obligations.

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But Mr Davis told BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "They have set this up to try to create pressure on us on money, that's what it's about, they are trying to play time against money."

Comparing EU demands to a hotel bill presented to a guest on checking out, Mr Davis said: "We are going through it line by line and they are finding it difficult because we have got good lawyers."

He said Mr Barnier "wants to put pressure on us, which is why the stance this week in the press conference - bluntly, I think it looked a bit silly because there plainly were things that we had achieved".

Mr Davis insisted he was not branding Mr Barnier personally "silly", adding: "I said the commission would make itself look silly".

The Brexit Secretary dismissed as "nonsense" claims that the UK would pay a £50bn fee to exit the EU.

The "strict position" was that there was "no enforceable" legal basis for the UK to pay money to the EU but "we are a country that meets its international obligations - but they have got to be there".

Those obligations "may not be legal ones, they may be moral ones or political ones", he said.