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

Trade minister Liam Fox described EU nationals in the UK as one of the government's "main bargaining chips" in upcoming negotiations, and May argued that the UK would be left "high and dry" in negotiations by guaranteeing the rights of European nationals without receiving similar assurances for UK nationals living in the EU.

The others have ruled out letting May negotiate in person with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and others. Nearly a year after Britain voted to leave its biggest market, the start of talks comes and amid signs the U.K.is softening its approach to the split and adopting a more conciliatory tone.

Pressed on reports of secret talks between Cabinet ministers and Labour MPs, Mr Gove said the two parties had a "similar" position on Brexit and the reality of the hung parliament meant the Government would have to "work with everyone".

Meanwhile, a joint statement issued in London and Brussels said: "The first round of talks that will see Britain leave the European Union will start on Monday June 19".

Britain's Brexit Minister David Davis backed Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, saying claims made by former finance minister George Osborne that she was a "dead woman walking" were "wrong and self-indulgent".

According to the statement issued on Thursday, the European Union and the United Kingdom are set to begin negotiations on Article 50, which was triggered on March 29 and sets out the procedure for withdrawing from the 27-member bloc, reports Efe news.

But a newly appointed junior Brexit minister, Steve Baker, told Reuters: "I don't foresee any change". That's raised speculation that she will seek a softer Brexit by trying to win continued access to Britain's biggest market.

France's Macron said the EU's door was still open for Britain as long as the negotiations were not finished, but that it would be hard to reverse course.

"Like Alice in Wonderland, not all the doors are the same".

"Their position on this was very similar to the Conservative position according to their manifesto". Her finance minister said at an European Union meeting on Friday that a Brexit deal should put jobs and prosperity first.

Since her gamble on a snap election failed a week ago, May has come under pressure from some in her own party to change her approach to Brexit talks.

May will also be reliant upon the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who would help her edge past the 326 votes needed in parliament to avoid the government collapsing.

However, putting the pro-British unionist DUP in a position of influence in London could also undermine the British government's ability, enshrined in a 1998 peace agreement, to function as an impartial broker between Northern Ireland's unionists and its Catholic Irish nationalists.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also warned Tuesday that time was passing.