Theresa May must provide a 'clear political lead', and only then will treasury officials do what they're told, Lord Lawson has claimed.
Brexit analysis based on information from the Treasury appears to show that Brexit would make the UK poorer and damage the economy. It was leaked last week.
Today (February 5), Theresa May and David Davis are to meet chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier at Downing Street for another week of negotiations.
Lord Nigel Lawson told Julia Hartley-Brewer that treasury officials "will do what they’re told if they get a clear political lead" but "there is no clear political lead, that’s the problem."
He called on Theresa May to "get up off her knees and stop this cringing attitude towards the European Union and get herself sorted."
The Conservative politician also said forecasts focus on "trade consequences and they focus on it by what economists call a gravity model."
This "assumes that trade is best fostered by geographical proximity" but "many economists these days feel that the gravity model on which all these forecasts are based is obsolete."
He believes the forecast doesn't concentrate on "the most important economic consequences".
He also argued that we should focus on global trade, adding, "we can always fall back on the WTO system – that trade with the rest of the world is growing faster than our trade with the European Union."
He said of the current Brexit negotiations "if we don’t get a special deal [with the EU], a free trade deal, which I don’t think we will, that's by no means the end of the world."
Lawson added: "The main benefit from leaving is we are in control of our own legislation."
Listen to the full interview above