Austria's Sebastian Kurz tells Theresa May to avoid 'hard Brexit'
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Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has told Theresa May it is "important to avoid a hard Brexit", after talks with the UK prime minister.
Mrs May is in Salzburg as part of a mission by UK ministers to sell their post-Brexit trade proposals.
Mr Kurz said he viewed Brexit "negatively" but felt negotiations were going "quite well".
Mrs May then held talks with Czech PM Andrej Babis before heading off on her summer holidays.
Barnier rules out key UK customs proposal Laura Kuenssberg: What now for the government? Speaking at a brief joint press conference, Mr Kurz, who has just assumed the EU presidency for six months, said: "The Brexit decision is a decision we see very negatively.
"But, of course, it has been taken by the British people so now we have to find a way to deal with it, and from our point of view it is important to avoid a hard Brexit."
He said he hoped the UK's talks with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier would be successful and a "solution" could be found by October.
The BBC understands that Mr Kurz has indicated he supports the idea of EU leaders holding formal Brexit talks at a summit in Salzburg in September.
Mrs May hailed the strength of the UK's relationship with Austria, adding: "We are delivering on a vote of the British people, they chose to leave the EU and we will deliver that."
Later, Mrs May pitched her idea for a post-Brexit free trade area to her Czech counterpart Andrej Babis.
A Downing Street spokesman said: "She highlighted that a UK-EU free trade area would maintain frictionless trade that would enable businesses across Europe to maintain their vital integrated supply chains.