In a BBC special on Brexit Britain on Monday evening, the UK’s future outside the bloc came under scrutiny and one audience member shredded Europhile claims British trade would take a hit after leaving the bloc.
The man said: “I want to take issue with the belief the EU have the upper hand in this bearing in mind we are a huge export market for most of the EU countries, particularly Germany, France and Spain where there are a lot of expats.
“They will be, the big businesses in those countries will be putting pressure on their governments to make sure they do a satisfactory deal with us to stop us going to India or Australia, or the USA.
“Their big businesses will be wanting to keep the business they do with us.”
The audience member blasted claims the European Union has the upper hand
During the BBC special Brexit Secretary David Davis took on the former deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and former Scottish first minister and SNP leader, Alex Salmond.
Joining Mr Davis on the Leave side was Ukip’s deputy chair Suzanne Evans and Times columnist Melanie Phillips.
The Lib Dem politician accused the Government of having “unrealistic expectations” as he urged Theresa May to settle the EU bill before we leave.
Their big businesses will be wanting to keep the business they do with us
Question Time audience member
Mr Clegg said: “Of course were are going to have to pay money.
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“If you run up a tab behind a bar for years and years and years and you haven’t paid when you want to leave, you settle up.
“The EU has been very clear, they are not going to ask the United Kingdom for a single penny after we have left, they are simply going to ask us to settle the tab before we leave.”
Although no exact sum has been put on the Brexit bill, it is believed Eurocrats could demand Britain pays £52billion to settle outstanding liabilities, including pensions for EU staff and ongoing infrastructure projects.
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The former deputy prime minister also told the Question Time audience that Britain’s trade prospects were being played up by the Government.
Mr Clegg said: “It would be really odd for us, and extremely unwise by the Government, on top of all the other unrealistic expectations which they have already raised about these negotiations that it’s all going to be done and dusted in two years, it won’t be.
“That they’ll have a cornucopia, a paradise of new trade deals with the rest of the world within 18 months, they won’t. They’ll be able to have exactly the same benefits of the single market even as we leave.
“Look this week is the week when things change when we stop talking to ourselves, lots of wishful thinking, and reality bites.
“We’re now going to have to negotiate with 27 other Governments and parliaments and of course when you quit a club of which we have been a member for over 40 years, of course, you settle up before you leave.
“It’s what we do in the rest of our lives and we should do it now. We shouldn’t pretend otherwise because all we are going to do by pretending otherwise is make you feel angry and disappointed when it doesn’t happen.”
Mr Davis said he did not believe Britain would be paying the £50billion being bandied, however, he refused to give a figure ahead of talks with Michel Barnier in two weeks time.
Another audience member also ripped into the bloc as he compared Brussels to a “bully on the playground” over the proposed exit bill.