Theresa May says Gulf states are keen on trade deals with UK

A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London

"In her speech, Prime Minister May highlighted the specific and historic relationship between Britain and Ireland", the government spokesman said.

"If we don't (get a sensible Brexit deal) the people of this country are not simply going to lie down and accept that they will be poorer", May's finance minister, Philip Hammond said.

But she also repeated warnings that a decline in living standards is fuelling widespread distrust of the current global economic model, and called for a "new approach" to trade that encourages greater social responsibility and better distribution of wealth. "Britain must face up to a period of momentous change".

May's speech comes two days after she outlined her strategy for the Brexit discussions with the European Union that will start after she formally triggers the two-year exit discussions.

With the prospect of a Soft Brexit inside the single market ruled out, the Scottish Government proposed "Plan B" of a Soft Brexit for Scotland has still to be officially ruled out.

Sterling fell to one of its lowest levels against the dollar in more than 30 years on Monday in the run-up to a major speech by May on Britain's future relations with the EU.

THERESA May has agreed with taoiseach Enda Kenny that Brexit should not lead to a "border of the past" for Northern Ireland.

The Irish government said its preparation was extensive, adding that important organisational changes were implemented in government departments and agencies, with additional resources provided in key areas.

"This activity is reinforced by extensive engagement at diplomatic and official level".

Mathias Cormann has told Sky News there had been "preliminary conversations" between the two countries over a trade deal and there was "goodwill on both sides".

However, he did not fully rule out access to the single market even if Britain refused to keep European Union free movement, suggesting there is scope for a deal.

Fears were expressed in Derry last week that Britain leaving the Customs Union would have hefty financial implications for any businesses traversing the Irish border, even the few miles from Derry City to Bridgend in Inishowen, Co Donegal.

He also said there was around a 10 per cent chance panic over the Brexit vote and other populist movements in France and the Netherlands could encourage a reform within the European Union, which could persuade the United Kingdom to remain.

US President-elect Donald Trump has also promised a "quick" free trade deal with Britain.

Posting on social media, Former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness said "a border of the future is coming at us".

Theresa May has said she will work "to deliver a practical solution" to the question mark over what will happen along the Irish border.

However, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said Ireland should be wary of the hard road that lies ahead.



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