Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

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

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

British Finance Minister Philip Hammond on Friday said London Britain must prioritise prosperity in Brexit talks with the European Union that begin next week in Brussels. The talks are taking place three months after Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered the two-year Brexit timetable.

He will attempt to change May's mind on leaving the customs union after a disastrous election in which the government lost its majority last Thursday, the newspaper said.

But his planned address, and that of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, was cancelled because of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Mr Hammond's comments as he arrived for a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Luxembourg are likely to be seen as a further indication that he is pressing for the Government to take a "softer" line on Brexit than the immigration-driven approach previously set out by Theresa May.

The EU customs union guarantees tariff-free trade within the bloc but prohibits members from striking third-party trade deals. "We will negotiate in good faith but it is a negotiation, we recognize there will be an exchange of views and we will take that forward in a spirit of genuine cooperation".

"As we enter negotiations next week we will do so in a spirit of honest cooperation taking a pragmatic approach to trying to find a solution that works both for the United Kingdom and for the European Union 27", Hammond told reporters before a meeting of the 28 EU finance ministers in Luxembourg.

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