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

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

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

With Prime Minister Theresa May still working to shore up a deal with a small Northern Irish party to prop up her Conservative government after she lost her parliamentary majority in the June 8 election, Hammond's comments could be a sign that London is easing back its approach to Brexit.

Mr Hammond said: "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, protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward".

The other 27, including lead powers Germany and France, want to dissuade others from emulating Britain and so insist that any Brexit deal must be less advantageous than full membership.

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.

Barnier speaks of a willingness to look at various options but EU officials also stress that greater access to EU markets will mean accepting greater costs, closer to EU membership, and question whether Britain can find a political consensus on that.

David Davis, the UK's Brexit secretary, and Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, will dominate headlines - here's a guide to all the people who will play a part in the discussions.

The UK Government wants the talks to take place in parallel during the Brexit process but both sides have made finding a solution to the issue of citizens' rights a priority.

The Liberal Democrats, the fourth-biggest group in the British parliament, urged May to form a cross-party committee to negotiate Brexit.

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Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said: "The Conservatives can not go from weak and wobbly to business as usual in three days".

London-based banking giant HSBC said Friday that it would keep more jobs in Britain depending on the government's approach to Brexit.

May has said Britain will leave both the single market and the customs union.

"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.

Sixty-three percent said they hold a favorable view of the European Union - a majority of Greeks disagree - and 49 percent said they believed Germany has too much influence over decision making in the bloc.

Davis plans to go to Brussels on Monday to start the negotiations, which will reshape not only Britain's role in the world, but also that of a bloc praised for ensuring peace after World War Two.

"And actually, getting over the fence, there might be some fresh grass out there".

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