Brexit: Theresa May 'ambitious' over deal with EU
Theresa May has said she is "ambitious" over the deal the UK will strike when leaving the European Union.
Speaking at the start of a two-day visit to Bahrain, the prime minister declined to comment on whether she ruled out continuing to pay for access to the EU single market.
She would look to negotiate "the best possible terms", she added.
The visit comes as the UK government is in a legal battle over whether MPs should get a vote on triggering Brexit.
The UK public voted to leave the EU by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1% in June's referendum.
Brexit Secretary David Davis has suggested that payments to the EU for access to the single market could continue after the UK leaves the bloc.
'About EU too'
On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told the BBC that "large" sums of money should not be used for this purpose.
Questioned on the subject of payments as she arrived in Bahrain, Mrs May said: "I'm ambitious for what we can achieve in our deal.
"We will be looking to negotiate the best possible terms that we can with the European Union."
She added: "Crucially, this is not about how we retain bits of what we've already got, but what our new relationship with the EU is.
"And I think that's a relationship which is not just a single UK as supplicant into the EU. Actually, it's about the EU as well. It's about the UK."
On Monday, the government began its appeal in the UK Supreme Court against the High Court's decision that it must consult MPs before invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which gets two years of Brexit negotiations under way.
The prime minister has said she intends to invoke Article 50 by the end of March.
On Tuesday, Mrs May continued her trip to the Middle East by visiting HMS Ocean - the Royal Navy's flagship in the Gulf.
She gave a short speech to the troops, calling them "vital" in protecting the UK "in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world", especially when it comes to trade and defending against piracy.
The prime minister also offered them thanks for their service, promised future investment and wished them a "peaceful" Christmas.