Theresa May promises to "work with the grain of business" and protect cross-border trade after Brexit

Mark Sands
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The UK will head to the polls on 8 June (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to work "with the grain of business and industry" as she seeks a Brexit deal with the least possible disruption to firms trading across borders.

May has refocused her election campaign on her ability to handle Brexit and, with just over a week before polling day, she has reiterated her goal of a tariff-free trade deal and “frictionless” borders with Europe.

Speaking at a campaign event in an aeronautical plant in Bath, May said ministers are considering “a whole variety of solutions” to customs challenges posed by quitting the EU, adding that some “may be electronic”.

“What we want to do is to take business and industry with us as we're doing that, to ensure that we are working with the grain of business industry and that we truly understand what the impact of any particular moves we make on business and industry will be,” she said.

May added that the best possible deal would include the "least disruption and least impact on those business who are trading freely across those borders at the moment".

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Separately, the Prime Minister also derided Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's decision to attend a live TV debate tonight on the BBC.

Corbyn had previously said he would not attend without May, but u-turned as he seeks to build momentum in the final days of the campaign.

May said the Labour leader "seems to be paying far more attention to how many appearances on telly he is doing. And he out to be paying a little more attention to thinking about Brexit negotiations."

She added: "Debates where the politicians are squabbling among themselves don't do anything for the process of electioneering."

Given May's dim view of such events, it is unclear why home secretary Amber Rudd will attend tonight's debate in her place.

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