The U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said that while he is “confident” the U.K. will strike a withdrawal agreement with the EU, the negotiations are no longer about “getting this exactly how we want it, exactly perfect.”
“Personally, I think we will agree a deal with the European Union. This is a difficult negotiation, but I think we will agree a deal because it’s very much in the interests of both sides,” Hammond told BBC Radio’s Today Program.
He added that for the U.K., the negotiations are now about “looking at the options available to us and deciding which is the best one to go with, which [one] is in the best interests of the country in the future.”
The chancellor, who set out his budget Monday, also said that in the event of a “shock” to the economy, such as a no-deal Brexit, he could be in a position to boost short-term spending.
“I have capacity to put further money into the economy to support the economy and help it through any period of difficulty should one arise,” he said, adding he has been “very cautious” in maintaining his “fiscal headroom” in the budget to allow him to do this.
Hammond had said when announcing his budget that securing a deal with the EU would allow the U.K. to “harvest a double deal dividend.”