Philip Hammond to prioritise economic prosperity in Brexit talks

According to a source, it is likely that the United Kingdom will agree to negotiating cycles in line with the EU's proposal.

Fighting for her political survival, May has been trying to strike a deal with a small Northern Irish Protestant party to avoid a second election that could delay Brexit talks and damage the $2.5 trillion economy.

The newly elected French leader said that he hopes the exit talks will start as "quickly as possible" adding that the door is still open should Britain choose to stay. The party has refused to give a time frame for reaching a deal, though May is due in Brussels for an European Union summit on June 22-23 when she will want to show she has a solid grip on power.

The U.K. government has agreed to the EU's demand to start Brexit negotiations with the divorce settlement before moving on to trade issues, two European Union diplomats told POLITICO.

The Treasury boss will insist "British business, British jobs and British prosperity" must now be the government's priorities during the ultra-high stakes Article 50 talks. "But the withdrawal and future are intimately linked".

"We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account", the spokesman said.

There are also differences over the other priority issue for Brussels - securing the rights of 3 million European Union citizens living in Britain - but diplomats see those as less problematic.

"Our members saw Brexit as a threat to the continued success of the creative industries, damaging growth and the UK's global outlook", says John Kampfner, CEO at the Creative Industries Federation.

European Union officials in Brussels are ready to negotiate - the sense of impatience is palpable.

And the source told the BBC that it was understood the talks would broadly follow the EU's preferred sequence, dealing with issues of citizens' rights and a framework for calculating outstanding financial liabilities before moving on, possibly later in the year, to deal with the UK's future relationship with the EU.

The agenda for the opening day of talks begins at 11 a.m. with an introductory session involving Barnier, the U.K.'s Brexit Secretary David Davis and officials.

Rebecca Long-Bailey suggested it was a "point for negotiation" on whether free movement could continue in exchange for the United Kingdom remaining a partial member of the single market.

The snap general election, which was called by May only two months ago, was expected to secure the Conservatives place as the sole party in Government and therefore guarantee the prime minister's plans for a "hard" Brexit.

Along with ex-PM Sir John Major, Mrs May's predecessor Mr Cameron predicted a "softer Brexit" would now happen and said Parliament "deserves a say". "It is the only way to unite the country and strengthen our bargaining power with the European Union".

  • Zachary Reyes