The Lib Dem politician tore into the Government for having “unrealistic expectations” during a Brexit Britain Question Time special on Monday evening.
“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.”
GETTY • BBC
Nick Clegg urged the Government to be realistic about the EU exit bill
The former deputy prime minister also told the Birmingham 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.
Look this week is the week when things change 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.
Brexit Secretary David 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.
Find out what the BUDGET means for YOU Mon, March 20, 2017
Budget 2017: Philip Hammond hailed Britain’s booming Brexit economy today as he delivered his first Budget of the year
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Mr Hammond says he is 'building the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more global Britain'
Ukip’s deputy chair Suzanne Evans jumped in and said she believed the UK should not pay the bloc a penny.
She added: "I don't know what clubs you're a member of Nick, but I don't know a club where you have to pay them to leave."