Prime Minister Theresa May will call on the European Union today to work with her to change a divorce deal and help her win the support of a divided parliament to smooth Britain’s departure from the bloc.

Meanwhile, the government has told businesses it cannot guarantee the British economy will be covered by “most” of the EU’s global network of trade agreements immediately after Brexit — even if parliament approves Theresa May’s divorce deal with Brussels.

The admission by the Department for International Trade that the UK will fail to conclude trade deals with most non-EU countries by the scheduled Brexit date of March 29 infuriated many executives taking part in a briefing.