Dominic Raab declared earlier this week that Britain will not pay its £39bn Brexit divorce bill to the EU if the country leaves the bloc without a deal.
The Government’s Brexit Secretary has stepped up the pressure on Brussels to accept Britain’s Chequers plan, with a threat to deprive the bloc of much-needed finances.
TalkRadio host Julia Hartley-Brewer praised this bold move, adding that “no-one else in the world” has to pay a country in order to be able to trade with it.
Hartley-Brewer made her remarks in conversation with Owen Paterson, a Tory eurosceptic and member of the European Research Group (ERG).
Mr Paterson delivered a passionate rebuke of the EU’s demands for payment before trade, saying: “I am delighted by Raab’s remarks.
“We knew from the beginning that money was really important to the EU.
“We have coughed up £10bn net to pay for nice roads, and public services, and teachers all around Europe, and they really, really need that money, so we have a bargaining chip.
“In fact, I think we were unwise to hint we were ever going to give anything.
“The House of Lords commitee, in clear legal terms, has said that we owe nothing, so I think holding out the money is absolutely right.
“Canada did a trade deal with the EU and don’t have to pay a penny.
“It is completely bizarre we have to pay to trade with people who have an enormous surplus with us!”
Writing in the Daily Telegraph this week, Mr Raab said that “there is no deal without the whole deal”.
The Brexit Secretary insisted the government “would not pay the terms of the financial settlement” if talks failed.
He added: “It will require our EU friends to match the ambition and pragmatism we have demonstrated.
“If that doesn’t happen, the UK will manage the challenges of no-deal, so we make a success of Brexit.”
Prime Minister Theresa May also made clear that without a deal the UK’s “position changes” on the exit settlement.