The British government is downplaying a photograph of a handwritten memo that seemed to suggest Britain won't be able to remain in the single market after it leaves the European Union.

The memo was being carried by an aide to a Conservative Party figure as he left the Department for Exiting the EU offices.

It said: "What's the model? Have your cake and eat it."

Officials said Tuesday that the notes don't belong to a government official and don't reflect the government's position.

The memo lists anticipated problems with the upcoming negotiating process with EU governments. It says it's "unlikely" that Britain will be given a chance to stay in the single market.

Prime Minister Theresa May plans to start the formal exit process by the end of March.