BUCHAREST/ LONDON (Reuters) – The British government is optimistic about reaching some form of deal with the opposition Labour Party to end a deadlock on Brexit as work on a compromise continues, Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond said on Saturday.
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
But Labour said the governing Conservatives needed to be more flexible and had not shown any movement on a political declaration of intent on the future relationship between London and Brussels once Britain has left the European Union.
Prime Minister Theresa May has asked EU leaders to postpone Britain’s exit from the bloc next Friday until June 30 but the EU insists she must first show a viable plan to secure agreement on her thrice-rejected divorce deal in the British parliament.
It is the latest twist in a saga which leaves Britain, the world’s fifth-biggest economy, struggling to find a way to honour a 2016 referendum vote to take the country out of the globe’s largest trading bloc.
Hammond, however, told reporters on Saturday he was upbeat about breaking the impasse.
“I am optimistic that we will reach some form of agreement with Labour,” he said on the sidelines of a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Bucharest, adding he expected the exchange of “some more texts today.”
The government had no red lines in the talks, he said.