UK Brexit Secretary David Davis: "It is possible" Britain will not get a deal

He says Britain is preparing for "every eventuality"

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis: "It is possible" Britain will not get a deal

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis speaks to the ECR 'Deal or No Deal' conference in Central Hall Westminster, London | Image: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/PA Images

Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis says "it is possible" Britain will not get a deal when it leaves the European Union.

He told an audience in London that while reaching a deal is the "most likely and best outcome", it is possible this could not happen.

"Reaching a deal with the European Union is not only far and away the most likely outcome, it's also the best outcome for our country," he told a 'Deal or No Deal' conference in Westminster.

"I don't think it would be in the interest for either side for there to be no deal. But as a responsible government it is right that we make every plan for every eventuality."

But he said every government department has been working "covering the whole range of scenarios."

"These plans have been well developed, have been designed to provide the flexibility to respond to a negotiated agreement, as well as preparing us for the chance that we leave without a deal."

It comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May appears to have won the backing of Cabinet to double the UK's "divorce bill" offer from stg£20bn (€22.5bn) to stg£40bn (€45.1bn).

At a two-hour meeting of senior ministers in Number 10 Downing Street, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Secretary of State Michael Gove are believed to have agreed to the move - with conditions.

As a result, Mrs May is now poised to offer stg£40bn (€45.1bn) later this week if the rest of the EU is ready to move towards trade talks in December.

The conditions demanded by Mr Johnson and Mr Gove were that the EU must spell out what the UK will receive in return for handing over the money.

Mes May wants to persuade EU leaders to allow Brexit talks, stalling in the first phase, to move on to future relationship negations - including a trade deal.

She also wants them to agree in principle to a time-limited transition deal after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

And in another significant move aimed at breaking the deadlock in Brexit negotiations, the UK will allow a role for the European Court of Justice after Brexit.

The moves were agreed at a meeting of the UK Cabinet's Exit and Trade (Strategy and Negotiations) Cabinet committee.

An early signal that ministers were ready to agree to double the UK's divorce bill offer came from the Brexit Secretary David Davis as he arrived for the meeting.

Asked by reporters if he had brought his cheque book along to the meeting, Mr Davis smiled and said: "No. Yours!".

Additional reporting: IRN