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Philip Hammond: UK must be pragmatic in Brexit talks

Philip Hammond: UK must be pragmatic in Brexit talks

The newspaper said Britain wanted these rights to be available only to those European Union nationals who were living in the country before 29 March this year, when the government triggered the start of the two-year process of leaving the EU.

Britain is welcome to change its mind and stay in the European Union, but it should not expect to keep getting its EU budget rebates or complex opt-outs from EU rules, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator said on Wednesday.

In a joint EU and United Kingdom statement issued later on Thursday, officials said: "Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday June 19". May's ruling Conservative party is split more than ever between an anti-EU wing that seeks a radical break from the bloc, and moderates who insist on maintaining close trade ties with Europe.

As May attempts to cobble together a majority, the EU's Michel Barnier said he would hold talks with British envoy Olly Robbins on Tuesday to organise the negotiations.

"We remain fully committed to making the institutions work", she said. "We're not going down that route", said Davis.

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"Both sides will also discuss the structure of the negotiations and the issues that need to be addressed over the coming months".

The Government have confirmed that Brexit Secretary David Davis will be in Brussels at the start of the week for meetings with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

"That's why we're ready to start very quickly".

But European leaders fear such a process may be against EU protocol and they could end up handing Britain a deal so advantageous that it may spur on other nations to leave the Union.

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".

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In his Mansion House speech, Hammond was expected to make the case for a so-called "soft" Brexit, which prioritizes economic considerations over the more "hard" Brexit approach, which focuses more on limiting immigration and restoring sovereignty.

Media reports suggest that Treasury chief Philip Hammond planned to use a high-profile speech on Thursday to argue for a "softer" Brexit, putting the interests of the economy before controls on migrants.

Even with a deal nearing to secure her government's survival, May is so weakened that her Brexit strategy has become the subject of public debate inside her own party, with two former prime ministers urging her to soften her approach.

After days of political turmoil sparked by her botched gamble on a snap election, May's Conservative Party resumed talks with a small Northern Irish Protestant party on securing the support of its 10 members of parliament to pass legislation.

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