“Big issues” remain to be resolved on the UK’s EU withdrawal agreement ahead of next week’s Brussels summit, Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman has said.
The spokesman said that movement was needed from the EU and warned that no withdrawal agreement can be agreed with a “precise” political declaration on the state of post-Brexit relations.
The spokesman told reporters in Westminster: "We have always said that we are working hard for a deal this autumn and that continues at pace.
"It's worth me pointing out that there is a difference between people talking optimistically about a deal and a deal - including both a withdrawal agreement and a future framework - actually being agreed.
"There remain big issues to work through and, as the PM has said, this will require movement on the EU side.
"There can be no withdrawal agreement without a precise future framework."
‘with open arms’
Prime Minister Theresa May with Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
This comes as Japan’s Prime Minister said Britain would be welcomed into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact “with open arms”.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also urged the use of “wisdom” during Brexit talks in order to a no deal withdrawal from the EU.
Mr Abe said the UK would lose its role as a gateway to the EU after Brexit, but would still be a country "equipped with global strength".
The TPP is an 11-nation trade agreement which includes Japan, Canada, Australia and Mexico.
The UK would only be able to join the bloc if it was outside the EU customs union and was able to set its own tariffs.