Britain's Hammond to push for United Kingdom to stay in EU customs union

Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said there was no desire to punish the United Kingdom but "its accounts must be settled".

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 compromising on some issues, like trade.

But he said the United Kingdom would take a "pragmatic" approach to talks.

"We want to see a Brexit that works for everybody, not just in Northern Ireland from my perspective but in the Republic of Ireland as well, so it is about a sensible Brexit", Foster told reporters in Dublin.

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.

Prime Minister May wants to negotiate the divorce and the future trading relationship with the European Union before Britain leaves in March 2019, followed by what she calls a phased implementation process to give business time to prepare for the impact of Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May in March formally notified the European Union of its intention to leave, starting a two-year timetable for negotiating the exit.

"We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account". "The withdrawal and future are intimately linked".

Britain's Brexit ministry said on Friday that no deal could be struck on exiting unless the future relationship with the bloc was taken into account.

Brexit talks will begin Monday.

"We will build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans and that means giving parliament the maximum amount of time to scrutinise these bills by holding a two-year session of parliament", the government said in a statement.

Although there have been significant tensions between the Treasury and Number 10 over the approach not just to Brexit but to the United Kingdom economy, Mr Hammond is aware that Mrs May is in a fragile position politically.

In a hint at a softer approach, Mr Davis said on Monday "we will start down this process" by focusing on the divorce proceedings from the European Union before moving on to trade.

  • Zachary Reyes