Brexit on top of Agenda in summit between Merkel and May

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BBC: Theresa May has said she hopes her cabinet will be able to “discuss and decide on a substantive way forward” on Brexit at their crucial Friday awayday.

The UK prime minister told Germany’s Angela Merkel she hoped this would lead to an increase in the “pace and intensity” of UK-EU negotiations.

As they met in Berlin, Ms Merkel said Brexit talks were at a “crucial phase”.

She said that a political framework for future relations needed to be clear by October.

Their meeting came as Downing Street set out some of the detail of its new proposal for how trade between the UK and the EU could be handled after Brexit.

There are currently differing views within the cabinet about how closely the UK should stick to EU rules after Brexit, and what compromises should be made to achieve “as frictionless as possible” trade.

After months of tension and disagreement, the prime minster is gathering the entire cabinet at her country retreat, Chequers, on Friday with the aim of agreeing a UK proposal on how future relations should work.

That would then be the subject of negotiations with the EU – which might have different ideas.

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