Calls grew for Prime Minister Theresa May to outline plans for her Brexit negotiating strategy on Thursday, after a think tank warned that her "silence" was confusing for other EU nations and unsettling for businesses operating in Britain.

There has been "a gaping void of information" about how the government plans to move forward following June's vote for Britain to leave the European Union, the Institute for Government said in a report.

"The prime minister's silence about how she intends to reach an initial negotiating position is proving problematic," the think tank said, urging her government to "move swiftly to spell out its plan."

Former Conservative cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, who campaigned against Brexit, urged May to give at least a "broad outline" of her negotiating plan.

"There does need to be a clear plan from the top of government about what it is that we are looking for," Morgan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The longer that gap is left, the more likely it is that - as we are beginning to see - people are taking up positions, whether it's 'hard' Brexit or 'soft' Brexit," Morgan said, referring to a Brexit outside or inside the single market.

"There is a danger that we will start finding ourselves, or the government will find itself, in a position where other people are setting the terms of the debate," she said.

Veteran Conservative lawmaker Ken Clarke, another pro-EU former cabinet minister, told the New Statesman magazine that "nobody in the government has the first idea of what they're going to do next on the Brexit front."

Morgan said balancing access to the European single market with controls on EU migration would be "at the heart" of the Brexit negotiations.

But Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told the BBC that it would be "impossible to give British people more rights than the other people outside the EU."

Renzi urged May to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - which sets the rules for a two-year negotiating process for a nation leaving the EU - as soon as possible.

The Institute for Government said planning for Brexit could cost the government some 65 million pounds (85 million dollars) annually and require hiring an extra 500 civil servants.

"Silence is not a strategy," said Hannah White, co-author of the report.

"The current situation - where we are left to interpret personal musings of individual ministers - is frustrating those looking for an early exit, perplexing those with whom we have to negotiate and unsettling those looking to do business in the UK," White said.

"The prime minister has sworn she will not give a running commentary on negotiations, but she needs rapidly to clarify how and when the government intends to go about making decisions on Brexit," she said.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.