Hammond: U.K. to Respect EU Rules as It Strengthens International Trade Ties

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
Philip Hammond, Britain’s finance minister, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 20. (Reuters/Ruben Sprich)

Britain will respect its obligations under European Union treaties while it seeks to strengthen trade ties with world partners, the British finance minister said on Friday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet later on Friday with President Donald Trump, seeking to enhance the U.K.’s trade relations with Washington as it prepares to start its divorce talks with the EU.

“Of course we want to strengthen our trade ties with the very many trade partners we have around the world. But we are very mindful of our obligations under the treaty and will follow them precisely,” Philip Hammond told reporters as he arrived at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.

He said that Britain “remains a fully engaged member of the European Union.”

“We will continue to abide by the rules, regulations and the laws of the European Union for so long as we are members,” Hammond added.