Iain Duncan Smith said the Government should not put up with any more “mealymouthed utterances and threatening statements” from EU chiefs.
The former Cabinet minister urged Mrs May to call Brussels’ bluff and threaten to walk out on the Brexit talks unless negotiations on trade start by December.
“We are not supplicants begging for favours from the EU,” he said.
Tensions increased over the deadlock yesterday when EU Council President Donald Tusk claimed the Prime Minister’s recent Brexit speech in Florence had not done enough to advance the negotiations any further.
Mr Duncan Smith urged Mrs May to call Brussels’ bluff
We are not supplicants begging for favours from the EU
“I would say there is no sufficient progress yet,” the senior Eurocrat said.
EU negotiators led by senior Brussels diplomat Michel Barnier are refusing to open talks on a future trade relationship between Britain and the EU until “significant progress” has been made on the size of a multibillion divorce fee and other issues.
In her speech in Italy last week, the Prime Minister clarified her offer to the EU by proposing a two-year “implementation period” after Brexit and a payment of around £18billion.
But to the fury of Tory Brexiteers, Mr Barnier and now Mr Tusk are still demanding more detail about her plan.
Mr Duncan Smith said Britain wanted a deal that suited both sides
Mr Duncan Smith’s dramatic intervention last night was a signal that the patience of Eurosceptic Tory MPs with the stuttering progress in the Brexit negotiations is wearing thin.
He used an article on the ConservativeHome website for Tory activists to voice his frustration at Brussels negotiators.
“The arrogant behaviour of the EU so far, bordering on the deliberately offensive, is a bluff that we need to call,” he said.
“After all, the UK is the fourth largest economy in the world, with the third most potent armed forces and a global reach in terms of trade and cooperation that is second to none.
“If they want to behave in this manner towards an ally and friend who has been a member of the EU for 40 years, and is the second largest economy in the EU, then it were best we established this now. Now that the Prime Minister has made her speech indicating that the UK meets our financial obligations, the EU has to respond. Instead of making…