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Heading to US, Davis says he's a "determined optimist" in EU talks

[LONDON] Brexit minister David Davis said on Friday he was a "determined optimist" in talks to leave the European Union, before setting off for Washington where he will sell the government's vision of Britain after Brexit.

Mr Davis, who returned from Brussels on Thursday after being warned by EU officials that any progress in talks fell short of what was needed to move on to discuss their future relationship, will visit Washington later on Friday and address the US Chamber of Commerce, a business lobbying group.

"I am a determined optimist," Mr Davis said in a statement about Brexit talks.

"Because I fundamentally believe that a good deal is in the interests of both the UK and the EU and the whole of the developed world."

In a speech in Washington, he will set out the government's vision for Britain outside the European Union.

"By working together with our closest friends and allies ... we can tackle some of the greatest social and economic challenges we face," he said.

"But the answer to that concern is not to turn inwards and become isolationist. And that is where a strong, outward looking United Kingdom can play an instrumental role."

Britain has been courting the United States as it leaves the EU, with Prime Minister Theresa May the first foreign leader to meet US President Donald Trump after his inauguration in January.

She then called on Mr Trump to renew the "special relationship" between the two countries and has pinned hopes on securing a trade deal with the country soon after Brexit to show that Britain can propose outside the European Union.

But she has been criticised by opposition politicians for cosying up to Mr Trump, whose unpredictable tweets and other comments have raised eyebrows across the world.