Theresa May has revealed that the Brexit transition deal will be sealed in the next seven weeks.

Speaking at the end of her three-day tour of China, the PM said that the transition deal would be agreed by the end of March, one year before Britain begins officially exiting the EU in March 2019.

May said: "In seven weeks time, we will have an agreement with the European Union, that is the timetable they have said on an implementation period."

She has been criticised for not providing enough detail on her Brexit strategy on top of the complex timings for the negotiations.

The PM will hope that this new 'seven-week' window, which would be towards the end of March, will give ministers a working brief to focus on.

The date is also vital as it would mean that an agreement could be reached in time for the next summit of the European Council which takes place between 22-23 March.

However, should the March deadline slip, it would mean that Britain would have to wait for formal ratification at the June summit, giving negotiators only until October to work on a trade package.

The Brexit secretary, David Davis has revealed that the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has accepted an invitation to visit London on Monday 5 February, as the second phase of talks get underway in Brussels.

There is still disagreement among May's Conservatives over several key issues including the rights of EU citizens in the UK as well as the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

The EU said last week that the transition year period would last from March 2019 until the end of December 2020, which will be when Britain finally severs all ties with the bloc.

May announced £9bn of fresh business deals on her recent China tour in her quest to boost foreign investment in the UK.

Theresa May
British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People on January 31, 2018 in Beijing, China Andy Wong - Pool/Getty Images