Theresa May tells Merkel: Our Brexit plan is on track
Theresa May has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Government's plans for Brexit remain "on track" despite a series of recent setbacks.
The Prime Minister is waiting for a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether she can trigger Britain's exit from the EU without consulting Parliament.
Officials are understood to be working on a short bill in the event the Government loses its appeal, with Downing St insisting the plan remains to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March.
However Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, claimed that the UK could end up paying into EU budgets for as long as 10 years after Brexit.
He told the Financial Times the UK must prepare for financial firms to flee to European cities without the ability to 'passport' services abroad, and insisted there would be no special deal on migration if Britain wished to remain in the common market.
The former head of the civil service, Sir Gus O'Donnell, has warned that Whitehall is not yet ready for the "enormous job" of the Brexit process.
His remarks came after a leaked report earlier this week from consultants Deloitte, which suggested the Government could need an extra 30,000 civil servants.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin this afternoon, Mrs May made clear the Government would not be deviating from its plans.
"We stand ready to trigger Article 50 before the end of March, or by the end of March 2017," she said.
"I want to see this as a smooth process, an orderly process, working towards a solution that is in the interests of both the United Kingdom but also in the interests of our European partners too."