Hammond “optimistic” on reaching Brexit agreement with Labour
Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he is “optimistic” talks between Labour and the Conservative Party over the Brexit deadlock can end in “some form of agreement”.
Speaking ahead of the EU finance ministers’ meeting in Bucharest, Hammond said that the government had no “red lines” and an “open mind” to discussions with the oppositions, which are set to resume this weekend.
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"We are expecting to exchange some more text with the Labour Party today, so this is an ongoing process,” he told reporters.
“I am optimistic that we will reach some form of agreement with Labour,” he added.
Talks have been on-going to try and find a solution that MPs from both sides can get behind in order to pass an agreement through Parliament.
But Labour has so far expressed concerns over the Tory’s willingness, or lack of, to alter the political declaration.
Hammond was also positive about Wednesday’s EU summit on Brexit and indicated that most EU states agreed for the need to delay Brexit.
May has asked for an extension until June 30 but the EU has insisted it will only grant a delay that short if there was a viable plan in place.
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“Most of the colleagues that I am talking to accept we will need longer to complete this process,” Hammond added.
“I am optimistic about the Council on Wednesday,” when EU leaders will meet in Brussels to decide Brexit’s next steps, he said.