The leading Brexiteer dismissed claims that Britain had conceded to Brussels on the first day of negotiations, as he suggested on Sky News that Philip Hammond’s remarks were a more pressing issue.
After being asked about the EU’s refusal to sequence during divorce talks, Mr Tice said: “Let’s remember the UK wanted to try and agree on this position with UK citizens and EU citizens last summer and actually it was the EU that’s been delaying that.
“That’s not a concession at all. The issue of sufficient progress that will be fudged.
“Actually what needs to happen is they need to be accelerated these talks to reduce uncertainty for both sides.”
Mr Tice appeared positive about the EU negotiator’s stance on Brexit, as Michel Barnier expressed Brussels wanted to reach a deal before the UK’s exits the bloc in March 2019.
He added: “It’s interesting isn’t it that Michel Barnier also said that actually no deal would not work for either side, I think that is absolutely critical.
“What I was deeply disappointed about was Philip Hammond undermining the negotiating British and the United Kingdom by suggesting that no deal would be a very bad outcome.
“It wouldn’t, it would be fine, we revert to WTO.
“If you into a negotiation not prepared to walk away you end up like David Cameron with the square root of nothing.”
On Sunday, Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that “no deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain”.
The Chancellor said: “No deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain, but there is a possible worse outcome and that is a deal that is deliberately structured to suck the lifeblood out of our economy over a period of time.”
He added Brexit meant the UK would definitely be leaving the single market, but must avoid “cliff edges”.
He said: “What we put in place may not be a single arrangement that endures forever, it may be an arrangement which lasts for a couple of years as a temporary measure before we get to the long-term agreed status quo.
“We’re leaving the EU and because we are leaving the EU, we will be leaving the single market and by the way, we will be leaving the customs union.
“The question is not whether we are leaving the customs union. The question is what do we put in its place in order to deliver the objectives the Prime Minister set out in her Lancaster House speech of having no hard land border in Ireland and enabling British goods to flow freely backwards and forwards across the border with the European Union?
“It’s a statement of common sense that if we are going to radically change the way we work together, we need to get there via a slope, not a cliff edge.”
June 20th, 2017: Express