Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

UK's Hammond says economy should be priority in Brexit talks

UK's Hammond says economy should be priority in Brexit talks

In a hint at a softer approach, Mr Davis said on Monday "we will start down this process" by focusing on the divorce proceedings from the European Union before moving on to trade.

But a lackluster campaign saw her high approval rating slip away and support for her "hard Brexit" strategy - pulling out of the European single market and customs union - now hangs in the balance.

Negotiations had been expected to begin next week but May's loss of her parliamentary majority in a general election last week raised doubts about the date.

"It's a unity of objective, having voted to leave the European Union, that their government gets on with that and makes a success of it".

The report cited unnamed sources, and the finance ministry declined to comment.

The Conservatives have 317 MPs while the DUP have 10.

"We also respect the other parties' mandates, we want to get back to an executive that has all the parties around the table to collectively take decisions".

Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists both agree a deal to restore a powersharing administration in Northern Ireland can be done by the end of the month.

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Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, Northern Ireland's second-largest Irish nationalist party, said his party had a "positive" meeting with the prime minister over her efforts to come up with a deal with the DUP.

Brussels has insisted talks on the so-called divorce, taking in issues including the fee the United Kingdom will have to pay to sever its ties, must make sufficient progress before any discussion on a future trade agreement could begin.

A spokesman for his Department for Exiting the European Union said Britain had been "crystal clear" about its approach.

The EU meanwhile unveiled plans to give itself new powers over London's banking business after Brexit, in what could be a blow to the city's supremacy as a global financial hub. "Hopefully we can make a bit more progress later on Tuesday", he said.

Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, Major and Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU. Data on Wednesday showed average weekly pay in the three months to April fell by 0.4 per cent on the year in inflation-adjusted terms - the biggest fall since the three months to September 2014.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's government said yesterday it would launch her policy programme next week, a sign of confidence she will strike a deal to stay in power after days of political uncertainty since losing her majority.

The veteran conservative predicted that Britain would regret its departure from the bloc at some point in the future.

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