Theresa May.jpg
New British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech upon her arrival at No. 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, 13 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/WILL OLIVER

British Prime Minister Theresa May told her cabinet ministers Wednesday that there would be no going back on her pledge to enact Britain's departure from the European Union.

"We must continue to be very clear that 'Brexit means Brexit' ... That means there's no second referendum; no attempts to sort of stay in the EU by the back door; that we're actually going to deliver on this," she said at the start of the meeting.

The talks at the British premier's country retreat are expected to focus on the next steps the government must take following the surprise pro-Brexit result in a referendum in June.

There has been speculation that May will trigger the two-year period leading to the final departure without consulting parliament.

The majority of members of parliament were against Britain leaving the EU, meaning that any vote to approve the final plans might not make it through the lower house.

Among those at the meeting at Chequers are three ministers responsible for Brexit: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and David Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the EU.

May has not yet said when she will trigger the formal process, which starts with invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, despite pressure from other EU members to do so. She has indicated that she will not trigger Article 50 before the end of the year.

The UK voted to leave the EU by a margin of 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent on June 23.

Britain's decision to leave the EU caused shockwaves around the world and is expected to feature at the G20 meeting, which begins on Sunday in Hangzhou, China.

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