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It would be ‘madness’ not to seek close post-Brexit link with EU – Hammond

The Chancellor wants a deal that recovers sovereignty for the UK.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned Tories who want a hard Brexit that it would be “madness” not to have the closest possible relationship with the European Union.

Losing access to European markets will have an “instant” impact on the UK while building up trade links outside the bloc will take time, he warned.

Speaking on the margins of the G20 summit, Mr Hammond also called for an end to the “navel gazing” that has dominated Westminster since the Conservative drubbing at the polls.

Securing a successful exit deal for Britain will help restore the party’s reputation with the public, he insisted.

Mr Hammond said he wanted a Brexit that recovers sovereignty for the UK but recognises that the EU will remain the country’s largest trading partner.

“It would be madness not to seek to have the closest possible arrangement with them going forward,” he told reporters.

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