Monday 21 November 2016 1:09 pm

Theresa May won't rule out a transitional deal with the EU because she's worried about a "cliff edge"

Downing Street is refusing to rule out a transitional deal between the UK and the EU following Brexit, after Theresa May warned of a "cliff edge" on the day the UK leaves the EU.

Speaking at the CBI annual conference today, May said talks with the EU "cannot be done quickly, or without give and take on both sides", and acknowledged there will be uncertainty for business.

The Prime Minister added that she recognised businesses "did not want a cliff edge" on Brexit day, suggesting she will consider the need for a transition period during the EU exit talks.

And now, Downing Street officials are refusing to rule out a specific deal to ease the transition between EU membership and Brexit for Britain's employers.

Asked specifically about a deal, a spokeswoman for May said today that "there are a whole range of options that are being worked through as we look at the negotiations".

A transition deal has been a key demand for businesses, with TheCityUK among the lobby groups demanding a smooth exit from the EU.

And Tory Treasury select committee member Chris Philp has previously told City A.M. the UK should retain Single Market membership for a short period after Brexit while trade talks are ongoing.