Britain shifts focus to growth as it girds for Brexit talks

2017-06-17 09:17
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Britain's finance minister said on Friday that jobs and growth should be the priority when Brexit negotiations begin next week, indicating that the weakened government in London might be softening its tone with Brussels.

Philip Hammond wants economic concerns to take centre stage when Britain starts talks for leaving the European Union on Monday, contrasting with a previous emphasis on cutting immigration.

Pragmatic approach

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 its approach to Brexit.

"We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity," Hammond said as he arrived for a meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg.

"As we enter negotiations next week we will do so in a spirit of sincere co-operation, taking a pragmatic approach, trying to find a solution that works" for Britain and the EU, he said.

After the general election fiasco, May hopes to secure the backing of the ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party, which would add the DUP's 10 seats to the Conservatives' 317 in the 650-member House of Commons.

May spent Thursday in talks with each of the five main political parties from Northern Ireland, including the DUP, aimed at getting a power-sharing executive running in the province before a June 29 deadline.

The talks also gave her the opportunity to reassure the other parties that a tie-up with the DUP would not compromise Britain's impartiality in the delicate Northern Ireland peace process.

Peace accords

DUP leader Arlene Foster insisted that any deal with the Conservatives would not undermine the province's peace accords.

Following talks in Dublin with the new Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, she said that reaching a "sensible" Brexit had been the focus of their talks.

"We want to see a Brexit that works for everybody, not just for Northern Ireland," she said.

The announcement of the formal start of discussions was agreed on Thursday between Britain's Brexit minister David Davis and the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.


Read more on:    theresa may  |  philip hammond  |  uk  |  brexit

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.