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

Philip Hammond, Britain's finance minister, says protecting the British economy should be the main objective of upcoming negotiations over the country's exit from the European Union.

The comments at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg come amid reports of divisions between Mr Hammond and Theresa May over the UK's strategy for leaving the European Union.

Since May's Conservative Party failed to win a majority in last week's general election, there has been a lot of debate over the impact on the Brexit discussions and whether the British government will be more open to compromise on some issues, like the trade. "We will negotiate in good faith but it is a negotiation, we recognise there will be an exchange of views and we will take that forward in a spirit of genuine cooperation".

But May, weakened by her election flop, opted to keep Hammond in his job along with other key ministers.

The Chancellor declined to comment on whether he supported Britain's continued membership of the EU single market or customs union. "We set out very clearly our desired outcome in the prime minister's Lancaster House speech and in the article 50 letter that we've sent", he said.

The event was cancelled in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

"My clear view and I believe the view of the majority of people in Great Britain is we should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond said as he arrived for regular talks with his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg.

The Sun reported today that the Chancellor joined forces with Home Secretary Amber Rudd to demand the weakened PM prioritise jobs over tough immigration controls.

He will say the UK's own financing schemes such as the British Business Bank stand ready to provide additional support and certainty to investors post-Brexit. Hammond told Bloomberg in an October interview that quitting the customs union, as some colleagues in government had recommended, could spell a "frictional cost" for exporters by imposing greater border regulations on them.

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