Downing Street lobby briefing on Brexit, Iran and housing
Here is a summary of this morning's briefing for lobby journalists by the Prime Minister's official spokesman.
On comments by German MEP Mafred Weber following his meeting with Theresa May yesterday suggesting the Prime Minister was preparing to make concessions in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock, the spokesman said: "It was a very constructive meeting and the PM set out her determination to secure a unique deal for Britain but one that works in both our interests. She also set out a very clear position in terms of an implementation period that will serve both Britain and the European Union."
On reports that the Government is willing to settle a £450m debt to Iran to help secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the spokesman said: "I think we're clear that we don't see any link between these two issues. It's not something I recognise. The reports are speculation and not anything I recognise."
Ahead of a speech by the Prime Minister on the need to boost housebuilding in the UK, the spokesman said: "The statistics that have been published this morning show progress, there are 217,000 new homes, that is the highest level of net additions since the depths of the recession. It's also the first time in almost a decade that the 200,000 milestone has been reached. That means more people with a roof over their heads and a place to call home, but there is a huge amount still to do and we must do it quickly.
"There is an acknowledgement that over the course of successive governments, not enough houses have been built to meet demand. It is an absolute priority for the Prime Minister that we build more homes, give more people the opportunity to own a home of their own and also that we create more affordable homes. It's very important to her and that's why she wants to drive this process along."
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