In his first interview since becoming the new East Midlands MEP Jonathan Bullock told express.co.uk eurocrats are being “intransigent” because they want to “punish” Britain and the Government must stand firm.
He told of his fears over a possible “fake Brexit”, under which Britain does not properly leave the EU, and said Brussels has no legal basis for its extraordinary £90 billion divorce demand.
And he compared Brussels’ financial demands to the business dealings of tough-talking US President Donald Trump, saying: “Trump would be proud of them, it’s how he would go into a business deal in his great business days.”
Nottingham-born Mr Bullock is the latest addition to the Ukip ranks and replaces the long-serving Roger Helmer, who retired this month after 18 years as a representative in Brussels.
A former Tory councillor who became disillusioned with life under David Cameron, he has now vowed to fight against any attempts to impose a long lasting transitional deal as part of Brexit.
Speaking at his new constituency office in the centre of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, the former advertising agent insisted Ukip still has a vital role to play in ensuring there is no backsliding by Theresa May.
And he raised concerns that many Brexiteers still do not trust the prime minister, not least because of the noises coming from her europhile chancellor Philip Hammond about a possible transitional deal.
On the Brexit bill, Mr Bullock said there was “no legal basis” for paying the EU anything and questioned why no Remainers had warned about such a vast payout as part of their Project Fear campaign.
He said: “The EU are being intransigent because they want to try and teach us a lesson or they are worried about what other countries will think if we’re not seen to be punished.
We’re leaving a club of which, in the constitution, there’s no requirement to pay anything at all. There’s arguments on both sides and the obvious thing is to agree a clean break with no money paid by either side.”
Mr Bullock said the EU would benefit from two more years of British contributions to its budget – an extra £17 billion – during the Article 50 negotiating period.
And he added that the UK should drop any claim to the bloc’s assets, which eurocrats dispute anyway, in return for an agreement that our victory as a vast net contributor will be taken into account.
He said: “There’s so much work we’ve put in under contributions to the EU…