Brexit ‘Eurosceptic-priest’ lays out his wish list


One of the foremost Brexit supporters in the European Parliament wants to cut European regulation and prevent new policies to be applied to the U.K. as the first step in the divorce process with the European Union.

Daniel Hannan, member of the European Parliament for the ruling Conservative party, told CNBC the main Brexit priority should be slashing regulation in all policy areas.

"I would get rid of the rules that disadvantage our up market with a sweet rule in the VAT (Value Added Tax), I would get rid of the REACH directive, which prevents our importers getting the chemicals they need, I would get rid of some of the rules that have disadvantaged our temping agencies, some of the rules on temporary workers, and I would stop some of the things that are about to happen," Hannan said.

"For example the ports services directive, that was opposed by every port in Britain, every trade union, every British MEP for all its worth voted against and yet it's about to be imposed on us anyway if we stay in the EU," he added.

Hannan is a long-time advocate that the U.K. should not be a member of the European Union, having published books and delivered speeches on the issue since an early age. He also led the campaign that took the conservative party away from the centre-right parliamentary group EPP to the more eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists group.

"Obviously, we are going to pay what's owed," Hannan added, regarding an exit bill that the EU demands from the U.K. before it leaves the bloc.

The bill is estimated to be around 60 billion euros ($63.97), according to the European Commission. This has raised some controversy among U.K. government members, with Finance Minister Philip Hammond saying he doesn't recognize the figure.

"I've been trying to get to the bottom how they calculate it. I think people are actually counting it from now, if you see what I mean, rather than when we leave," Hannan said. He explained the majority of the bill included payments to the EU budget in the next two years – while the U.K. remains a member of the EU – and the actual payment to leave the EU will be much smaller than the figure floating around.

This has been one of the most contentious issues even before official exit talks begin. On Wednesday, during a parliamentary discussion on Brexit, Nigel Farage, also a lawmaker in the EU, compared the other 27 members to the mafia for demanding the payment.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier warned lawmakers on Wednesday that the talks were highly technical and therefore a quick agreement is difficult.

"Theresa May's letter seeks a rapid agreement, but quite clearly the devil is going to be in the detail. The six months work I've done so far points to that," Barnier said.

The Frenchman also warned that the U.K.'s desire to discuss a free trade deal while divorce proceedings were underway would be a "very risky approach."