Any suggestion from the EU27 that Britain should be punished for leaving would turn it into a “gang”, not a voluntary club of nations, and goes against the interests of member states, trade minister Liam Fox.
European leaders should realise that the competitiveness of the continent as a whole would be damaged by an approach that focused on taking a tough line on Britain in Brexit talks, Fox said.
However it was unclear whether the EU would take a pragmatic approach, Fox said at annual conference of the British Chambers of Commerce.
“That is largely dependent on the balance between the political ideology of an ever closer union that sees Britain’s exit set an example to others that it is painful,” he concluded.
“The idea of punishing Britain to me is not the language of a club, it is the language a gang.”