A POST-Brexit trade deal can still be made in time, a Downing Street spokesman has said — but the EU has warned the deadline is drawing close.

A trade agreement must be thrashed out "in October at the latest", the EU Commission has said.

But Downing Street says it is confident that a deal could be done in September, one month before the clock runs down.

The comments come ahead of the latest round of negotiations between the UK and the EU, which are due to begin on Tuesday evening and continue until Friday.

On whether the European Union is confident a deal can be achieved in September, an EU Commission spokesman said: "We want a deal, we want to have an ambitious and fair partnership with the UK, and that we must come to an agreement in October at the latest."

He added: "This week and over the coming weeks we will remain constructive, we will remain engaged and respectful with the UK negotiating team in order to reach a deal."

Earlier this week, a No 10 spokesman said UK negotiators "will continue to plug the gaps where any differences remain".

He added: "There are many issues that will be discussed during this week's round, not least level playing field, fisheries, trading goods and services, amongst others."

The trade talks resume amid fears of a deadlock, with both sides admitting after the last round of negotiations in London last month that they remained some way off a trade agreement.

After those talks, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said a deal looked "at this point unlikely" given the UK position on fishing rights and competition rules.

Mr Barnier said the UK had not shown a "willingness to break the deadlock" on these issues.

He added there was a risk of no deal being achieved unless the UK changed its course on these topics which are "at the heart" of the EU's trade interests, and that an agreement would be needed by October "at the latest" so it could be ratified before the post-Brexit transition period ends in December.

His UK counterpart David Frost agreed that "considerable gaps" remained in these areas, but argued that a deal was still possible.

Westminster has ruled out extending the December 31 deadline, regardless of the circumstances and against the wishes of devolved governments.