Philip Hammond has said he “regrets” calling the European Union “the enemy” in the Brexit negotiations.
The chancellor faced criticism on Friday after he was asked about accusations from within the Tory party that he is taking too soft an approach to Brexit.
The Tory minister said it was time for the Conservatives to cease their in-fighting over the Brexit talks and said the “opponents” were on the “other side of the table”.
He told Sky News: “I understand that passions are high, I understand that people have very strong views about this, but we are all going to the same place, we all have the same agenda.
“The enemy, the opponents, are out there on the other side of the table.
“Those are the people that we have to negotiate with. We have to negotiate hard to get the very best deal for Britain.”
“The enemy, the opponents, are out there on other side of the table.” Slip of tongue or intentional from @PhilipHammondUK to @EdConwaySky? pic.twitter.com/Qxo9ItC82W
— Mark Stone (@Stone_SkyNews) October 13, 2017
His comments came just hours after EU Commission President Jean-Claude Junker said the UK “has to pay” if Britain wants talks to begin on a future trade deal with the EU.
Hammond, who is one of the most vocal advocates of a “soft Brexit” later said he regretted his “poor choice of words”.
He tweeted that the UK will work “with our friends and partners in the EU, adding #NoEnemiesHere.
In an interview today I was making the point that we are united at home. I regret I used a poor choice of words (1/2).
— Philip Hammond (@PhilipHammondUK) October 13, 2017
We will work with our friends and partners in the EU on a mutually beneficial Brexit deal #noenemieshere (2/2).
— Philip Hammond …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK politics