Priti Patel says Brussel should be told to ‘sod off’ over financial demands
28 November 2017
The Government has been "ill-equipped" for the Brexit negotiations and Brussels should be told to "sod off" over its financial demands, former Cabinet minister Priti Patel said.
The prominent Brexiteer, who resigned as international development secretary earlier this month, said the Government should have been more forthright in setting out its desired "end state" for the talks.
Ms Patel said one of the Government's failings had been not setting out the economic opportunities that Brexit presented.
"The Government has been ill-equipped in terms of preparations for the negotiations," she said.
"It's not an ideal state at all."
At an event in London hosted by The Spectator magazine she said: "We should have had conviction and clarity in terms of our end state and destination and presented that and been pretty forthright about it as well,
"My views on money are pretty clear, I don't like spending money so I would have told the EU in particular to sod off with their excessive financial demands."
She said Theresa May was leading in “very challenging circumstances” and was “struggling now with a difficult set of cards post the election”.
But she said: “One of the failings is we have not set out that vision, what is that vision of Britain going to look like post-Brexit?
“What are the economic opportunities for the City of London and for many other businesses and sectors in terms of leading out in the world and potentially trading with countries we have simply not been engaged with for not just years but for decades.
“And also reflecting that the world is changing, the labour market is changing.”
Ms Patel, who has been tipped as a potential leadership candidate in any future contest, said the Tory grassroots should be given a greater role in the party, including at the annual conference.
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire