British Prime Minister Theresa May chairs a meeting of the cabinet to discuss department-by-department Brexit action plans, August 31, 2016. (AFP photo)
Prime Minister Theresa May warns that there will be “difficult times ahead” for the UK economy as Britain moves to leave the European Union.
"We have seen figures giving some different messages in relation to the economy at the moment. I think the reaction of the economy has been better than some had predicted, post the referendum,” May told reporters Saturday as she traveled to the G20 summit in China.
"But I won't pretend it is all going to be plain sailing, there will be some difficult times ahead," the premier added.
May said formal EU talks on Brexit will not begin until 2017, but promised the process would not be “kicked into the long grass.”
The premier said she was “optimistic” that there would be new opportunities for Britain outside the EU and promised the country would "make a success" of Brexit.
In China, May held talks with US President Barack Obama on Sunday and is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) attends a meeting with US President Barack Obama (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) at the West lake State Guest House in Hangzhou on September 3, 2016. (AFP)
However, her toughest meeting is likely to be with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the conclusion of the summit on Monday.
This year’s G20 summit has been overshadowed by May’s decision to delay the £18 billion nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, which China is investing in.
May’s advisers have raised security concerns over China’s role in the nuclear power station, arguing it would give the Chinese access to computer systems of Britain’s energy production.
The prime minister said on Saturday she was still considering whether to allow the nuclear project to proceed as planned.
“This is the way that I operate,” she said. “I don’t just come in and say I’m going to take the decision, I actually look at the evidence, weigh up the evidence, take the advice, consider that and then come to my  decision".