Philip warns: "Not a penny more than needs to be legally paid out to the European Union should be handed over"

Shipley MP Philip Davies said too much money had been given to the EU in the past and any suggestion more money than absolutely necessary should be paid was ludicrous. Instead any extra money should be spent on UK priorities.

It is thought up to £40 billion could be given – double what the UK’s offers so far add up to.

Speaking in Parliament Mr Davies urged Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss to agree that “the UK should pay the EU what we are legally obliged to pay—not a penny more and not a penny less.”

He added: “If so, will she make sure that, before this House votes on the final bill, we have an itemised account of exactly what we are paying for at the end, and also the legal basis on which we are making those payments?”

Mr Davies also supported comments made by Labour’s Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner that any extra money the UK has available should be directed into UK priorities.

He added: “We should not give it as a bung to the European Union, which we are not legally obliged to do.”

No formal offer will be made until the EU agrees to begin talking about a new trade deal.

Ms Truss said:  “We are determined to get the best possible deal for the British taxpayer, and we need to look at the deal in the round to see what represents value for money. Absolutely, the money should be spent on our public services and on keeping taxes low for our hard-working citizens.”