PRITI PATEL believes the European Union (EU) will have to consider reopening Brexit talks with the next prime minister for their own benefit.
Speaking on BBC’s Pienaar Politics show on Sunday (9), Patel said a new Brexit deal would be the best way to get any money from the £39 billion bill.
Patel said: “It is about time we had a leader with some gumption and with the conviction now to say to the EU: You need to start talking to us in a different way, we want a free trade agreement.
“And if that’s not going to happen and you are not prepared to budge, we will use the money as leavers and we will leave on the 31st of October and it won’t necessarily be on their terms, they will need to start waking up to that fact.”
Patel on Monday (10) threw her support behind Boris Johnson, who has promised to retain the £39 billion Brexit bill unless the EU provides “greater clarity” about the future EU-UK trade relationship.
The 47-year-old also believes that Johnson was the right candidate to strengthen Britain’s bond with countries like India.
“Boris Johnson will bring a spirit of optimism and the ability to lift our standing in the world by strengthening the living bridge between our two great nations,” she said.
“It is about time that we strengthen the political bonds between UK and India, following the recent decline. We must grow our bonds into a very special relationship built on centuries of diplomacy, trade and common values, and importantly, our people to people ties that continue to enrich our countries and our links,” she said.
Patel is among the three Indian-origin MPs supporting Johnson. Junior minister Rishi Sunak, son-in-law of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, and minister of state Alok Sharma are the other two.