BRITAIN is “closing in” on a Brexit deal with Brussels, Dominic Raab has suggested.

The Brexit Secretary issued a statement following an “extended phone call” this morning with Michel Barnier about the latest progress both sides’ teams had made on the Withdrawal Agreement and the framework for the future relationship.

"While there remain some substantive differences we need to resolve, it is clear our teams are closing in on workable solutions to the outstanding issues in the Withdrawal Agreement and are having productive discussions in the right spirit on the future relationship,” said Mr Raab.

"Looking ahead, we agreed to review the state of play in the negotiations following the informal meeting of heads of state or government of the European Union in Salzburg next Thursday, and we reiterated our willingness to devote the necessary time and energy to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion.”

Earlier this week, sterling surged against the dollar and euro after the EU’s chief negotiator said a Brexit deal was possible by November if negotiators were realistic in their demands.

Mr Barnier told a forum in Slovenia: “If we are realistic, we are able to reach an agreement on the first stage of the negotiation, which is the Brexit treaty, within six or eight weeks.”

Next Thursday, Theresa May will present her Chequers Plan to EU leaders during a dinner in Salzburg before discussing Brexit among themselves the following day, with just weeks to go before an agreement is needed.

It is thought that following the Salzburg meeting the EU28 will agree to hold a special Brexit summit in November to seal the deal – or not.