Patrick Minford, who is part of a group of economists who supported a Leave vote, has said Britain cannot remain a member of the European single market post-Brexit.
Speaking at a debate ran by Intelligence Squared, the economist clearly stated the importance of fully leaving all aspects of the EU for the sake of Britain’s economy and sovereignty.
Mr Minford believes Britain would be better off leaving the European Union and pursuing its own free trade deals and controlling its own immigration policy.
He said: “There are two ways to do it one is to do the so-called “soft” Brexit … which is basically you don”t leave the EU you just stick around in the single market with all these things that we don”t like happening, no control over our laws, no control over our unskilled immigration.
“How can that be what the people wanted? How can it be consistent with the vote?
“How can it be optimal given that we have still got all the same costs that we had before that we didn”t want? No.
“There’s only one way to leave the EU to become a sovereign state, you have to leave these institutions.”
Speaking in central London earlier this month Mr Minford said: “You have to leave the single market, you have to leave the protectionism and you have to abandon the free immigration.
“If you”re going to leave, leave. And that means leaving all these things that cause cost.”
Prime Minister Theresa May is waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision to see whether she needs MPs to vote on Brexit, or whether she can trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval.
Mrs May had originally intended to lead Britain out of the EU in March 2017, before the High Court ruled the June 23 result in itself was not legally binding, despite 17.4million people voting to leave.
Mr Minford claimed unskilled immigrants – of which there are “one million adults” – cost the average British taxpayer around £3,500 each year.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry, who campaigned for Remain, believes the UK needs to honour the EU vote but said the country has a right to decide on the terms of Brexit.
“It’s right that we should now debate on what terms we leave the European Union,” she said
The former Business Minister stated that at the moment “we do control our borders and we control migration”.
“We would be absolutely mad in my opinion if we were to toss away membership of the single market,” she said.
“Our supply chains rely on that free movement of trade.”