January 27, 2017 / 7:34 AM / in a year

UK to respect EU rules as it strengthens trade ties around world: Hammond

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - 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.

Chancellor Philip Hammond talking to Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK CEO, during a visit to the Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, to coincide with the announcement later of preliminary estimates for 2016Q4 GDP, Britain, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Matthews/Pool - RTSXG86

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet later on Friday with U.S. President Donald Trump, seeking to enhance the UK’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 arriving to 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.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Hugh Lawson

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