Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Britain Says Protecting Jobs And Economy Are Key Brexit Aims

The Chancellor will use his annual Mansion House speech tonight to pledge to increase support for key infrastructure projects with extra Government money.

Finance minister Philip Hammond will argue for Britain to stay in the customs union, in a bid to soften Brexit and alter Prime Minister's Theresa May approach, the Times reported on Tuesday citing several unnamed sources.

May called for a snap election in April; she was hoping to gain a bigger majority for her Conservative Party in Parliament so she could push through her Brexit plan.

And he is set to clash with the Prime Minister again in the coming weeks over Brexit, as leading Cabinet ministers try and force her to rejig her negotiating strategy.

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

Hammond, who has long-warned that a "hard Brexit" will affect the City, does have a point.

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Philip Hammond is preparing to extend the government's programme of investment in British businesses to mitigate against the impending loss of European Union funding.

And if necessary, the Chancellor will say, he is ready to bring forward some of the £400million in additional investment which he announced in last year's Autumn Statement.

The so-called United Kingdom guarantee scheme will offer new types of financial support, including "construction guarantees", to help complex projects to reduce the risk they face and help them to access private finance.

The government will offer small start-ups and infrastructure projects more financial support.

With Britain due to begin its divorce talks with the European Union next week, Chancellor Philip Hammond will on Thursday set out how the government intends to provide its own support for projects that, for example, run beyond the 2019 deadline when Britain leaves the bloc.

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