Tue, 26 October 2021

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
By David Lidington and Stephen Hammond MP
Press releases

Ousted minister Priti Patel savages Theresa May's Brexit strategy

Ousted minister Priti Patel savages Theresa May's Brexit strategy

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Priti Patel has accused the Government of being “ill-equipped” to cope with Brexit, just weeks after she was forced to resign from the Cabinet.

The former international development secretary, who was a prominent member of the Leave campaign, said she would have told Brussels to “sod off” rather than pay any so-called ‘divorce bill’.

Ms Patel was ordered to quit earlier this month after she held secret meetings with top figures during a holiday in Israel, including with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

She discussed sending aid to Israeli forces to deal with humanitarian work and set the wheels in motion to deliver the plan without telling Downing Street or the Foreign Office.

But speaking at a Spectator event in central London last night - her first outing since being unleashed from the shackles of collective responsibility - she savaged the Government Brexit strategy.

“I think it's fair to say Brexit is an enormous challenge and government has been ill-equipped in terms of preparations for the negotiations... it's not an ideal state at all," she said.

“I certainly think we should have had conviction and clarity in terms of our end state and been pretty forthright about that as well.”

And on the divorce bill, she said: “In terms of money, I don't like spending money. I would have told the EU to sod off with their excessive financial demands.”

Mrs May is thought to have offered Brussels some £40bn to cover UK liabilities as it quits the bloc.

Elsewhere Ms Patel said the Tories should “start from scratch” to win the next election and allow members to elect the party's chairman.

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Engineering a Better World

Can technology deliver a better society? In a new podcast series from the heart of Westminster, The House magazine and the IET discuss with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

New episode - Listen now