Recently resigned cabinet minister Priti Patel has attacked Theresa May for being “ill-equipped” for Brexit negotiations, insisting Brussels should have been told to “sod off” over its ‘divorce bill’ demands.
Speaking at an event in London organised by The Spectator magazine Monday, Ms. Patel said: “The government has been ill-equipped in terms of preparations for the negotiations… It’s not an ideal state at all.”
She went on: “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.”
The former Conservative International Development Secretary was forced to resign earlier this month over undisclosed meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.
Ms. Patel, a leading figure in the Vote Leave campaign, is one of a growing number of Tory Brexiteers to question the prime minister since her Florence speech on Brexit in September.
She said Mrs. May was leading in “very challenging circumstances” and was “struggling now with a difficult set of cards post the election”.
Poll: Brits ‘Losing Confidence’ in Brexit Talks, Majority Think EU out to Punish UK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 13, 2017
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.”
Mrs. May has reportedly doubled her previous Brexit ‘divorce bill’ offer from roughly £20 billion to £40 billion after EU negotiators continued to threaten to block trade talks until all their financial demands were met.
Earlier this month, an EU official taunted the UK, claiming the nation will become a “colony” of the EU after 2019 after Tory Brexit secretary David Davis admitted the withdrawal agreement will “probably favour” the EU.