September 24, 2018 / 7:47 AM / in a month

Raab says confident of Brexit deal, needs two to tango

LONDON (Reuters) - British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday that he was confident that the United Kingdom will make progress and eventually clinch a Brexit deal with the European Union.

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain, September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

“We keep on negotiating in good faith, we try and get the best deal we can, but we are ready for all eventualities,” Raab told TalkRadio. “We’ll keep negotiating in good faith, I’m confident we’ll get there.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that Brexit talks with the EU had hit an impasse, defiantly challenging the bloc to come up with its own plans after EU leaders savaged her proposals.

However, Raab said it was important not to overreact to the “stubborn” tone struck by Brussels and that some setbacks were to be expected.

“These blips in the world, they’re blown a little bit out of proportion, but we double down, we don’t throw our toys out the pram, hold our nerve, keep our cool,” Raab said.

“But at the same we need to be ready for the possibility ... that the ambitions that we are bringing to these negotiations to try and get a win-win deal isn’t matched by the other side and it does take two to tango.”

Sterling GBP= jumped above $1.31, leaving it up around 0.5 percent on the day, as Raab spoke.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party will vote this week on whether there should be a second referendum on the outcome of the Brexit talks, although its finance spokesman said on Monday these would be on any final deal struck rather than on reversing the process altogether.

Raab said such a stance made it more likely they would fail to get any deal.

“What they (the EU) need to see is some unity of purpose from the UK which is why all this Labour nonsense about a second referendum is not only undemocratic but it’s the last thing we should be doing right now with our EU partners because it encourages them to offer us a lousy deal which makes a no deal more likely,” he said.

“The vast majority, the silent majority in this country just want us to get on with it and that’s what we’re doing.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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