UK treasury chief accuses EU of paranoia over Brexit

BERLIN — Britain's treasury chief has accused the European Union of "paranoia" over Brexit.

Philip Hammond says the EU should stop threatening to punish Britain for its decision to leave the bloc and instead offer a positive vision for what a post-Brexit relationship might look like.

British officials are trying to put the onus on Brussels in the divorce negotiations and downplay the idea that quitting the EU might end up harming Britain.

Hammond told German weekly Welt am Sonntag in an interview published Saturday that those hoping London might do a U-turn on Brexit should "stop harking on about this illusion."

Hammond also was quoted as saying that a future free trade deal between Britain and the EU has to include services, which make up 80 percent of the U.K. economy.

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