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

Arriving to a meeting with his counterparts in the 28-country EU, Hammond said his "clear view" is "we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward".

That marks the formal state opening of parliament, in which Queen Elizabeth reads out the government program, and suggests that May is confident she will have an arrangement with the DUP by then, preventing the program from being voted down by the other opposition parties.

Despite the uncertainty over her ability to govern, May had confirmed that Brexit negotiations - expected to be the most complex global talks Britain has held for decades - would begin as planned next week.

European Union leaders have been calling for talks to begin - on Tuesday Mr Barnier said: "I can't negotiate with myself".

The British government says that the talks to leave the European Union will start Monday, as planned.

Norway is in the single market, in return for accepting free immigration from the EU, EU courts and budget payments.

The EU will keep the door open for Britain to return, but only on worse terms than it now has, European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said Wednesday (14 June).

He told Sky News: "It's in the week of next week, basically, the first discussions".

"It will be a brand new door with a new Europe, a Europe without rebates, without complexity, with real power and with unity".

"The British government has said, 'We will stay to the Brexit.' We take the decision as a matter of fact, as a matter of respect".

May has not yet responded to a proposal from some Conservatives for business groups and lawmakers from all parties to agree a national position on Brexit.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said this week that he was anxious for May to get her house in order.

May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result after calling a vote three years early in the hope of bolstering her slim majority ahead of the Brexit talks.

Beyond the basic functions of government, she should aim to do little else.

Duke of York said he has "no idea" how Brexit will play out but said there may be "fresh grass" for British businesses.

In a tweet, Verhofstadt said the "current uncertainty can not continue" after the UK's June 8 general election resulted in a hung parliament and left Prime Minister Theresa May scrambling to form a minority government propped up by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). "It is the only way to unite the country and strengthen our bargaining power with the European Union".

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme he said: "We as Conservatives were not returned with a majority and that means that we need to proceed with the maximum possible consensus and that we also need to make sure that the concerns of people who voted Remain, many of whom now actually want us to press ahead with leaving the European Union as quickly and as in as orderly fashion as possible, but we need to make sure that their concerns are part of our conversation".

"We're not going to get into - and I know there has been a lot of talk about our position in relation to social issues for example - those are matters for the Northern Ireland assembly - they are not matters for Westminster and therefore we will not be dealing with them at Westminster", she told the BBC.



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