UK needs a new Brexit deal and new negotiating team, Jeremy Hunt says

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaks during a joint statement with Kenya's Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, after their meeting at the Kenyan Foreign office in Nairobi, Kenya, May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

LONDON (Reuters) - The United Kingdom needs a new EU divorce deal and a new negotiating team including prominent Conservative Brexit supporters and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday.

Hunt said the draft withdrawal deal agreed by Prime Minister Theresa May with the EU in November needs to be renegotiated, adding that the Irish backstop could be changed. The EU has refused to reopen the withdrawal agreement.

“What we need to do is to have a new negotiating team. In that team needs to be not just the government, but the DUP, the ERG. I think you should have someone from Scotland and Wales,” Hunt said, referring to the European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative lawmakers who favour a clean break with the EU.

“If you have proper representation in your negotiating team from other voices... I think you can then give Brussels confidence that they are talking to someone who can deliver a deal.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing Guy Faulconbridge