Gerard Lyons, a former adviser to Boris Johnson, believes it is in the UK's best interests to leave the single market and the customs union to allow Britain to walk away from a “bad” deal from Brussels.
The Economists for Brexit co-founder said it was about “following through” on last year’s Leave result after 17.4million people voted to quit the European Union.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “The country has voted and we need to follow through on that.
Theresa May has indicated that the UK will leave the single market
- David Davis hails Article 50 Bill victory as a 'historic' day for UK
- Shameless Farron STILL wants second EU referendum despite Commons v…
If you were walking the wrong way on an escalator, you can’t do it for very long
“I think the important thing is what the Prime Minister touched on recently – that by being outside the single market and being effectively outside the customs union allows us the option to walk away if the deal is a bad one.
“The outcome we have ahead of us in two years is trying to do a good deal and if not, walking away.”
Mr Lyons, who served as chief economic advisor to Mr Johnson during his time as the Mayor of London, warned remaining in either the single market or customs union could lead Britain down a “dead end”.
Gerard Lyons likened the UK staying in the EU to walking to wrong way up an escalator Theresa May's Brexit plan Mon, January 16, 2017
It's finally here!
Getty Images 1 of 7
Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
“Naturally we want to have a sensible outcome,” he said. “That’s why I think when one looks at it, the choice is between a clean break or a messy break and a clean Brexit is far better than the alternative.
“Because a messy Brexit gets us in a dead end, it’s bad for the EU, it’s bad for us. So I think we need to accept that remaining in an unreformed EU, the status quo, was not good.”
He likened the UK remaining in the EU to someone walking the wrong way up an escalator.
“If you were walking the wrong way on an escalator, you can’t do it for very long,” he added. “Politically, the European Union was going in the opposite direction.
“We wanted to be global, sovereign. The EU, because of the euro being at its core, was becoming more of a political-centred, political-focussed organisation.”
- Brexit VICTORY! MPs give APPROVAL on bill to trigger Article 50
- Diane Abbott votes for Brexit after missing last Article 50 vote
- Most of Scots do not want ANOTHER independence referendum