September 11, 2018 / 3:22 PM / 2 months ago

Brexit deal 'doable' in 6-8 weeks, Britain's Hammond says

Passers by react as an anti-Brexit demonstrator waves flags outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - A Brexit deal can be agreed in the next 6-8 weeks, British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday, but there would not be enough time to have a legally precise text on the UK’s future relationship with the bloc once it leaves.

Asked about comments from the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier that a deal was realistic in 6-8 weeks, Hammond told lawmakers in Britain’s upper house of parliament: “I think it is doable.”

He added that although the withdrawal agreement would be a legal text, the declaration on a future relationship could be less detailed.

“There’s merit in having quite a bit of detail, but clearly we don’t have enough time to negotiate the full draft legal text in what will be quite a complex future partnership agreement,” he said.

Reporting by David Milliken and Andy Bruce, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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