Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

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

British Prime Minister Theresa May centre addresses supporters at a campaign event in Slough in south-east England on June 6 as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. center-left looks on. Johnson one of the Conservatives’ most popular politicians tweete British PM Theresa May not sobbing over election, Brexit minister David Davis says
Howard Terry | 17 June, 2017, 07:48

Brexit talks in Brussels on Monday will focus on the status of expats, the UK's "divorce bill" and the Northern Ireland border, rather than on future trade relations with the European Union, it has been confirmed.

Parliament returns & Brexit talks begin: key dates.

Speaking as he arrived for a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Luxembourg, he said: "As we go into that negotiation, my clear view - and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain - is that we should prioritise protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward". "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".

The Conservatives are yet to agree a deal with the DUP, a week after the general election stripped May of her parliamentary majority.

The two discussed the ongoing talks to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland, and the DUP's new role in Westminster. She also said that the talks with May's party had covered corporation tax and same sex marriage.

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 announcement was agreed on Thursday between Brexit minister David Davis and the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, the ministry said. "That is why we are pushing ahead with negotiations on Monday".

Working groups were to take place later to focus on three key areas - the status of European Union citizens living in Britain and British citizens living in the European Union; the divorce bill for Britain; and the status of the Northern Irish border with Ireland. But public trust in the government is faltering, and May's own poll ratings have plummeted since Election Day.

The prospect of Brexit has sent a wave of concern through Britain's business sector. Her spokesman said Britain would not change its stance on Brexit, though May told her lawmakers she would seek a broader consensus in the party on her approach.

Earlier, Andrea Leadsom, leader of the lower house of parliament, said the government had agreed with Queen Elizabeth, who reads out the new government program, that the "state opening of parliament will take place on 21 June 2017".

"Depending on a hard or soft Brexit, that number might be slightly less than that, so it's going to be updated all the time", its United Kingdom chief executive Ian Stuart told BBC television. "We want to see any deal between those two parties reflect the wishes of all of the people of Northern Ireland, not just one section of the community".

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