July 14, 2016 / 10:05 AM / a year ago

U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew calls for flexibility in Brexit talks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew addresses a news conference at the German Finance Ministry in Berlin, Germany, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged European Union and British officials to be pragmatic and flexible in talks on Britain’s departure from the EU, and said he would meet new chancellor Philip Hammond later on Thursday.

“I will be meeting with the new chancellor this afternoon, I look forward to it,” Lew told a news conference after meeting German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin.

“We believe that it is in the best interests of Europe, of the United States and the global economy to end up with a result that produces a highly integrated relationship between the UK and the EU,” he said of negotiations on Britain leaving the EU.

“We think it is critical that negotiations take place in a pragmatic, transparent and smooth manner where both sides to demonstrate flexibility in order to produce results that are the right outcome,” Lew added.

“Let us have a mutually acceptable and amicable outcome.”

The U.S. economy is performing “in a stable way” despite global headwinds, he said, adding that the Group of 20 leading economies should use “all of the tools, including structural reforms, and fiscal policies as well as monetary policy.”

“We think it’s important that the G20 continues to consult on exchange rates and to work closely and to make sure that we don’t see competitive devaluations,” Lew added.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Toby Chopra

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