David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory MEP for Eastern England, has insisted the UK are already working on future trade deals to quickly complete after Brexit.
The European Union has said the UK cannot formally talk about trade with other nationals until Britain has left the bloc in 2019.
Mr Bannerman, who works on the Committee on International Trade, has suggested the UK is already discussing future trade relationships with other countries.
Speaking on Radio 5 Live, he said: “I think it is the right decision for the country. I’m involved with trade, I’m in the trade committee.
David Bannerman said the UK are already discussing trade with 15 countries
“I know we are already talking to 15 countries to do our own bilateral trade deals which is very exciting.
“I speak to the same kind of people, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans. I have just done a paper on the American deal between the US and the UK.
“There is huge potential to do free trade deals.”
The MEP, who sat with Ukip until May 2011, claimed the European Union has held up potential trade deals with countries across the world but Brexit is presenting new opportunities for the UK.
I know we are already talking to 15 countries to do our own bilateral trade deals
He added: “I’m afraid the EU has stopped, and I have great experience of this, India has stopped after eight years, the American one has failed, Japan is being very slow, China hasn’t even started.
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“Britain actually has a real opportunity to start doing these deals all around the world.
“We have always been a global trading nation, we invented a lot of globalisation in the past, hundreds of years ago and we are returning to that.”
The European Parliament rejected a Ukip amendment, when agreeing over Brexit ‘red lines’, which would have allowed Britain to discuss future trade deals with other countries during the two-year Brexit process.
Brexit Negotiations: Britain's sternest enemies Tue, April 4, 2017
According to a new index, the EU27 countries fall into three groups: hard-core, hard and soft. These are the countries with the highest scores which indicate a fairly strong opposition to Britain’s position
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France has the highest score in the index at 32.5
The Conservative MEP finished by arguing that the UK has already seen benefits from deciding to Leave the EU last June.
“I was very keen on Brexit I’m delighted,” he said. “I’m so pleased the British people have decided to do this.
“I think we are seeing some of the benefits already.
“The choice was between superstate and sovereignty and we chose sovereignty.”