The UK prime minister said the government ‘doesn’t know what would happen’ to expats if the UK crashes out of the bloc without an overall agreement.
May was also unable to confirm what would happen to EU citizens in the UK, with Brits abroad facing a similarly uncertain future.
“We don’t know what would happen to them,” May told LBC.
“The EU members states would have to consider what their approach would be to the UK citizens. This is one of the reasons we want to get a deal.”
She added: “If there is no deal then we have to be prepared for it.”
There are growing fears that a Brexit no-deal is on the cards, with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warning negotiations are ‘not a game’.
European leaders meet on October 19 to decide whether ‘sufficient progress’ has been made to move on to the Brexit trade talks.