Lord Patten of Barnes said Britain should be positive in its negotiations with the Brussels bloc and not assume they will “turn out badly”.
It is a big shift for the peer, who previously called this period of British politics the worst he can remember.
However, Lord Patten stubbornly expressed his continued view that the UK should remain inside the single market and customs union.
Speaking on Newsnight on the BBC, he said: “I don’t think you can go into these negotiations on the assumption that they’ll turn out badly.
GETTY•BBCLord Patten said the UK needed to be positive in its Brexit negotiations with the EU
I don’t think you can go into these negotiations on the assumption that they’ll turn out badly
"I think Philip Hammond is right that we should be aiming now for a transitional period for staying in as much of the single market and customs union as possible.
“Both those things were of course anathema to those who thought the big bold thing to do was to head for the precipice and if we jumped off the precipice there’d