BERLIN (Reuters) - Britain’s finance secretary said he favoured a collaborative rather than a confrontational approach to Brexit negotiations, rejecting a suggestion from his cabinet colleague Boris Johnson that Donald Trump-style tactics would produce a better deal.
Philip Hammond, speaking at a conference in Berlin, was asked about comments by Johnson that were secretly recorded at a dinner on Wednesday and published by Buzzfeed.
“Imagine Trump doing Brexit,” Johnson is reported to have said. “There’d be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he’d gone mad. But actually you might get somewhere. It’s a very, very good thought.”
Hammond pointed to his years of experience negotiating with Germans, French and Italians.
“My experience has been that ... a collaborative approach ... is generally more productive than a confrontational approach,” he said, noting that his advice to his colleagues would be to engage with Britain’s European partners if they wanted a good Brexit deal.
“Finding a mutually beneficial outcome is the only way forward. That is the firm intention of my government. Theresa May, the prime minister, has said so very clearly,” Hammond added.
Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Michelle Martin