March 5, 2017 / 11:33 AM / 5 months ago

Brexit 'mood music' better, EU more pragmatic - Hammond

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FILE PHOTO:Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond arrives at the National Cyber Security Centre in London, Britain, February 14, 2017.Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The tone of private discussions between Britain and other members of the European Union about Brexit has improved since earlier this year, British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday.

"Whatever is being said publicly ahead of the negotiation, the private messaging is that people are now engaging with this more as a shared problem, something that we have to solve together," Hammond told ITV television in an interview.

"There is an increasingly pragmatic approach," he said.

Hammond suggested in a German newspaper in January that Britain could use its corporate tax levels as a form of leverage in the negotiations about its future relationship with the European Union.

Also in January, British Prime Minister Theresa May set out her priorities for Brexit, putting a focus on tighter controls on migration rather than Britain's continued membership of the EU's single market. She said no deal was better than a bad deal for Britain, something Hammond reiterated on Sunday.

Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Paul Sandle

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