And Bruno Le Maire has also claimed that Brexit was a ‘historical mistake’ which could end in disaster for the UK.
His comments came on another fevered day in Westminster as speculation mounted that Theresa May will soon face a leadership contest from disenchanted Tory Brexiteers, angry at the deal she has negotiated for Britain to leave the European Union.
Mr Le Maire was speaking at a Paris conference on reforming global trade.
He said Brexiteer politicians were ‘liars’ who tricked voters into thinking leaving the EU would be easy and in their interests.
‘I think many British politicians have been liars and lied to British people by explaining that it was simple to go out of the European Union without having strong negative consequences on the current daily life of the British people,’ he said.
‘Now you are before the truth and the truth is that going out of the European Union, going out of the (EU’s) single market, going out of one of the most important economic markets of the world is a mistake with very strong negative consequences.’
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He added: ‘The truth is that Brexit could end with a nightmare.’
Mr Le Maire did not name any politicians by name.
He also defended the European Union’s single market, calling it a ‘considerable force’ in global trade and warned that Britain could face ‘economic disaster’ if it leaves.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s government is among the strongest defenders of the EU and is trying to limit the damage to the bloc from Britain’s exit – and ensure that Brexit does not encourage other EU members to leave.