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Budget 2017: Hammond to 'seize opportunities' from Brexit

The UK must “seize the opportunities” from Brexit while tackling deep-seated economic challenges “head on”, Philip Hammond is to say in his second Budget. The chancellor will promise investment to make Britain “fit for the future” as an “outward looking, free-trading nation” once it leaves the EU in 2019. But he will also commit to supporting hard-pressed families with the cost of living and address housing shortages. Labour say he should call time on austerity and boost public services. In his Commons speech, which will begin at about 12:30 GMT,…

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Irish PM should know better over Brexit, says Arlene Foster

Media playback is unsupported on your device Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar “should know better” than to “play around” with Northern Ireland over Brexit, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party says. Arlene Foster accused Mr Varadkar of being “reckless” as Brexit talks enter a “critical phase”. She was speaking after meeting Theresa May at Downing Street. The Irish government says any hard border with Northern Ireland should be off the table. And an EU paper recently suggested Northern Ireland would have to continue to follow many EU rules after…

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Brexit: Broad agreement to pay more as UK leaves, the BBC understands

There is broad agreement among ministers that the government should increase its financial offer to the EU as the UK leaves, the BBC understands. But this is only in return for the EU moving on in December to talks about a future trade deal and an implementation phase after the UK’s departure in 2019. And there was no substantial discussion of possible amounts that could be paid at a cabinet committee meeting. The meeting was held to try to make progress on stalled Brexit talks. This “divorce bill” is one…

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Brexit: Electoral Commission reopens probe into Vote Leave

The Electoral Commission has re-opened an investigation into Vote Leave’s EU referendum spending. The campaign paid £625,000 to clear bills allegedly run up by university student Darren Grimes with a digital agency days ahead of last June’s vote. A separate group, Veterans for Britain, received £100,000 from Vote Leave. The campaign denies attempting to get round spending limits – the Electoral Commission initially accepted this but now says it has new information. Mr Grimes, at the time a fashion student at the University of Brighton, set up a group called…

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Brexit: EU gives May two weeks to act on divorce bill and Ireland

Theresa May has been told she has two weeks to put more money on the table if the EU is to agree to begin Brexit trade talks before the end of the year. EU Council President Donald Tusk said he was “ready” to move onto the next phase of Brexit talks, covering future relations with the UK. But he said the UK must demonstrate more progress on the “divorce bill” and the Irish border by early next month. Mrs May said “good progress” was being made but more needed to…

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Brexit: Davis says the UK has compromised in talks

Media playback is unsupported on your device David Davis says he has “been offering some creative compromises and not always got them back” in Brexit talks. He told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg many EU countries do want to move on in the negotiations because they can see it is very important to their economies. But it was, he added, a “27 country decision”. The EU says negotiations cannot move on to trade until questions about the UK “divorce bill”, citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland are resolved. All you need to…

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Brexit: 'Don't put politics above prosperity', Davis urges EU

David Davis has warned against “putting politics above prosperity” in Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU. In a speech in Berlin, the UK’s Brexit Secretary outlined his hopes for a deal that “allows for the freest possible trade in goods and services”. He also said he thought it “incredibly unlikely” there would be no deal. The EU says negotiations cannot move on to trade until questions about the UK “divorce bill”, citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland are resolved. All you need to know about Brexit Who does UK trade with…

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