Hammond warns of “petty politics” threat to good Brexit deal

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BERLIN Petty politics are the biggest threat to a good divorce deal between Britain and the European Union, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said on Tuesday, warning that a bad Brexit agreement could harm the economic interests of both sides.

“I am confident that with the political will to put jobs and prosperity first we can achieve an early agreement on a transitional period,” Hammond said at an economic summit of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in Berlin.

There was a risk “that somehow we allow petty politics to interfere with economic logic, and we end up with a suboptimal solution that fails to maximise our mutual benefit,” he said.

Hammond said that the shift from industry to services in most major economies had led to the economic marginalisation of many people who now view globalisation as a threat.

He urged G20 leaders meeting in Hamburg next week to work towards the liberalisation of trade in services.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Thomas Escritt)

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