UK government officials confident of Brexit talks in autumn
The Department for Exiting the European Union added Brexit Secretary David Davis also expects both the UK and EU to have a "dynamic and flexible approach" to each round of the negotiations.
But Cabinet ministers involved in the Brexit talks are said to have privately indicated they think progress to the second phase - focused on a post-Brexit EU trade deal - may not happen until Christmas.
Sky News cited sources as suggesting that next month's federal elections in Germany, including agreeing who forms the new government, could have an impact on the process.
Philip Hammond earlier this month delivered a less-than-certain verdict that EU trade talks would begin this autumn.
Speaking in Brazil, the Chancellor said there was "hope" from the UK that negotiations over future relations with the EU would begin in the autumn. ■