Lord Peter Lilley, a former Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, has said that if the UK left the European Union without a deal, “we won’t be crashing out, we will be cashing in.”
Lord Lilley told talkRADIO’s James Whale: “We won’t be crashing out, we will be cashing in. We will keep £39bn.”
He added: “I’d ask the Remainers where they are going to get £39bn to pay for the privilege of this Withdrawal Agreement.
“Which hospitals are they not going to build? Which schools are they not going to repair? Which teachers are they not going to employ?”
Within Theresa May's EU Withdrawal Agreement the UK has agreed to cover contributions to staff pensions and commitments to EU programmes for the period up until 2020.
This "divorce bill" has previously been estimated to be costing the UK £39 billion
'A mess made by Remainers'
Lord Lilley described May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement as a “mess made by Remainers”.
“It is a mess made by Remainers for Remainers at the behest of Remainers,” he said.
“In the Cabinet there is a majority of Remainers, the Prime Minister voted Remain, her civil servants are madly in favour of Remain and they are endeavouring to try and frighten us all to reverse the decision that 17.4 million people made in the biggest democratic vote in our history.”
He added: “If you treat people with contempt, you get the sort of reaction that Macron is having in France.
“And, I hope to God that we don’t have that here.”
The French President Emmanuel Macron is currently facing protests by a group called the “Yellow vests” who oppose a controversial fuel tax.
However the protest has now become used to show more widespread anger at the government.
The “Yellow vests” are so-called because they have been protesting in high-visibility yellow clothing that is required to be carried in every vehicle by French law.
'Once in a lifetime'
Lord Lilley, who now sits on the Lords’ Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Sub-Committee, added that politicians must “stick to their promises”.
During the 2016 EU referendum, the Government led by then-Prime Minister David Cameron sent leaflets to 27 million homes calling for people to stay in the European Union.
“The Government wrote to every household in this country saying this was a decisive choice – a once in a lifetime choice – which would be enacted,” he said.
“You cannot change it afterwards. The important thing in politics is that politicians stick to their promises.
“And if they say they do not really mean it, then you get unrest.”