The Chancellor has publicly pushed for a major shift in the Conservative Government's approach to Brexit.

Philip Hammond claimed that he had public opinion behind him as he said that he would prioritise the economy and jobs, the so-called 'soft' Brexit option.

Theresa May has previously indicated her plan to press ahead with a 'hard' Brexit and make immigration the key priority.

Mr Hammond mentioned that stance as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting of EU finance ministers.

But, he added: “As we go into (negotiations), my clear view - and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain - is we should prioritise protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and taking them forward.”

Brexit talks are due to begin on Monday, despite the lack of a deal with the DUP to prop up Mrs May's minority government.

The Prime Minister was significantly wounded last week after she lost her majority in the Commons in the General Election.

She had campaigned for voters to give her a mandate to push through her 'hard' Brexit plans.

But a war is now raging within government over which direction ministers should take.

Meanwhile a separate row erupted with Brussels, after the Brexit department strenuously denied reports it will settle a multi-billion pound 'divorce bill' before starting talks on future trade deal with the EU.

The European Commission said that Monday's meeting between its chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary David Davis would take place "as part of the sequenced approach to the talks" set out by the EU.

Brussels has been pushing for weeks for the UK to agree to make progress on how it will leave the EU before any trade talks can begin.

But Mr Davis insisted that the UK still wants to negotiate its future trading relationship with the EU "alongside" Brexit terms talks.

Meanwhile, the shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has written to the government urging it to drop its "belligerent and reckless" approach to leaving the EU.

He said the result of the general election demanded a re-think of Government strategy.

"It is clear that the Government can no longer seek to silence opposition or sideline parliament. There must be a new spirit of openness and transparency, in which challenge and scrutiny are welcomed," he wrote.

"Labour has been clear that jobs and the economy must be the priority for negotiations. The Prime Minister’s inflexible approach to these matters makes a good deal for Britain less likely, not more likely."

Business chiefs have backed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's call for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to have a seat at the Brexit negotiating table.

Last weekend Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson sought to capitalise on her election success by calling for a Brexit that put economic growth ahead of controlling immigration, or as she termed it an "open Brexit".

While Theresa May suffered humiliation on election night, the Scottish Tories secured their best tally in decades, with 12 new Scottish MPs.

Ms Davidson also said that she wanted the "freest possible trade" with the other 27 other bloc nations after the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

"It's not about hard or soft [Brexit], it's about open or closed, and I stand firmly on the side of open, and will always advocate that," she said.

She also added that it was clear that voters had not given the Prime Minister the mandate to negotiate the kind of Brexit she wanted.

Mrs May had set out plans to take the UK out of the EU single market, meaning an end to the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour.