Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Government did respond to fire safety recommendations, UK minister says

Government did respond to fire safety recommendations, UK minister says

Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry, warned: "The needs of the economy need to be at the top of (the government's) list".

"Overall, we are a government that believes in low taxes and we want to reduce the burden of taxes overall for working families".

He said the Conservatives would have "probably done better" if they had focused on its economic record.

The UK Government is also keen to present the negotiations as an opportunity for the EU.

What about a possible €55B-€60B divorce bill? "A deal like no other in history".

Presenter Andrew Marr asked Hammond about his role during the Conservative Party's election campaign.

Mrs May has threatened to walk out of the talks if she thinks the end result will be bad for the UK.

Mr Hammond emphasised that leaving the EU meant the country would leave the single market and the customs union.

May has said she is open to some kind of association agreement with the customs union and wants to avoid any so-called "cliff-edge" into uncertain trading conditions, but she has also said Britain must be able to control immigration - something it can not do while a member of the EU.

Pressed on whether the Government would have to change direction in light of the losing their majority, Mr Hammond said: "We will look at all these things".

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Asked how long Mrs May had left in number 10, he told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "I think what the country needs now is a period of calm while we get on with the job at hand". He said membership of the customs union should remain "on the table".

Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC's Pienaar's Politics said: "There's a lot of anxiety in the business community about stepping outside the customs union because it creates so many difficulties".

He said Mrs May had "alienated our allies in Europe" and suggested Britain could stay in the single market if it was reformed, but failed to give further detail, saying it is more important to focus on the outcome.

"Leaving gives us the opportunity to forge a bright new future for the United Kingdom - one where we are free to control our borders, pass our own laws and do what independent sovereign countries do".

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford called for cross-party, cross-government talks.

Philip Hammond has warned failing to secure a Brexit deal would be "very, very bad" for Britain ahead of the start of exit talks in Brussels on Monday.

"Theresa May asked the electorate to strengthen her hand, but instead they have cut the Tories down to size - voters gave a clear instruction that the Conservatives can not govern alone and must now reach out to others".

Ms Davidson called for an "open Brexit" that put the needs of the economy before cutting immigration, although a Scottish Conservative spokesman later denied suggestions that she was seeking continued membership of the single market, which requires the free movement of European Union nationals.

The comments came as a poll revealed that Labour voters overwhelmingly support the softest possible Brexit deal.

The research, which was commissioned by the Global Future think tank, found 60 per cent of Tories, however, put migration curbs first compared to 27 per cent for trade.

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