The eurosceptic MP insisted recent polls showed Britons would be willing to have the country leave the bloc in a no deal Brexit scenario. Latest polls carried out by YouGov of 2,098 British voters between March 31 and April 1 suggested 44 percent of the participants would prefer to quit the European Union without a formal arrangement even if an extension was available. Appearing on BBC Politics Live, Andrew Bridgen pointed out the results of the poll indicated slim majority support for ending talks with Brussels on April 12.
Mr Bridgen said: “Most of the public want to leave now with no deal as soon as possible.
“That’s what all of the pollings are showing. I’ve been on the doorstep, that’s what people want.”
But his remarks sparked a furious reaction from Labour MP Liz Kendall and Tory peer Daniel Finkelstein, who demanded Mr Bridgen to specify the source of his claims.
Ms Kendall said: “So have I and that’s not true. That’s not true. Where are you getting facts for that?”
Mr Bridgen continued: “YouGov. 41 percent of the voters want a no deal, 35 percent want an extension. Only 16 percent want Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.
“That’s about the same as the Chequers proposal ever got.”
Lord Finkelstein, after repeatedly interjecting as Mr Bridgen spoke saying “that’s not true,” added: “You’re a numbers person. You just said that the majority wanted it and then you said 41 percent.
“But 41 percent isn’t a majority, therefore it’s just not true.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk after the programme, Mr Bridgen accused the BBC of being “democracy deniers” with their decision to select a majority of Remain, or Remain-leaning panellists.
He added: “I’ve given up complaining about BBC bias.
“The BBC selects panels that reflect Parliament rather than the people.”
Asked whether he could see the UK leave the EU by the April 12 deadline Mrs May secured after asking for a first Brexit delay in March, he said: “I’m not hopeful we’ll leave on Friday.
“The EU may threaten us but they still need our money.”
A spokeswoman for Theresa May said the Prime Minister is hopeful that the Government would resume formal talks with the opposition Labour Party on Monday to try to find a solution to the impasse.
Mrs May wants the United Kingdom to have an independent trading policy and both sides will need to compromise in the talks, the spokeswoman said.
But the spokeswoman also confirmed the British Government was still working on “necessary preparations” for a no deal Brexit.