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Cabinet ministers urge Theresa May to ‘prioritise jobs over immigration’ in Brexit talks

2 min read

Cabinet ministers have reportedly urged Theresa May to shake up her Brexit negotiating strategy by ensuring she prioritises jobs over more stringent controls on immigration.

The Sun reports that Chancellor Phillip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd insisted that the Prime Minister take a “more pragmatic approach” to the upcoming negotiations after last week’s election.

The representations were made during a meeting of the Cabinet’s new Brexit negotiations committee, which was also attended by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis.

Damian Green, the newly appointed First Secretary of State, has been invited to join the committee as its sixth member, the paper reports.

A government source said the Chancellor had "expressed some strong views, and Amber backed him all the way"

“Nobody is trying to reverse the EU referendum - we are leaving and everyone is fully committed to that.

“But this election has changed an awful lot, so Philip believes we need to fundamentally reassess where we are.”

The source added: “There are some difficult times ahead for the economy. Unemployment over the next two years must now be our greatest concern”.

But Leave campaigner and newly appointed Brexit minister, Steve Baker, insisted that there was no need to change Mrs May’s plan for the UK’s exit.

“I don’t foresee any change,” he told the Sun. “The reality is that where we stand follows logically from leaving, so if we’re leaving what we need to do is do it smoothly and successfully and gain economic benefit”.

Mr Hammond will tonight insist “British business, British jobs and British prosperity” must be the Government’s priorities heading into the Brexit talks.

In his Mansion House speech he will also move tonight to reassure businesses about post-Brexit infrastructure spending, committing to protect funding once the UK leaves the EU. 

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