The International Trade Secretary, who will lead the charge to forge new deals after Britain quits the EU, said the bloc seemed to be putting politics before the interests of its own citizens.
He told House magazine: “The more I’m at a distance from Europe, the more absurd it looks that you would actually want to diminish the prosperity of your own people to make a political point.
“When the Commission would say, ‘We have to do this to make sure no other country would dare to leave,’ it sounds a lot more like the language of a gang rather than a club.”
In the same interview, Dr Fox also hit out at British businesses for failing to take full advantage of free trade opportunities, claiming UK industry “doesn’t want to export”.
He said: “I can agree as many trade agreements as I like, but if British business doesn’t want to export, that doesn’t do us any good.
“Our Rolls-Royces and our BAE Systems are as good as any other big company in the world. A difference tends to lie at the medium part of the SMEs, where our companies are not quite as willing to export as before.
“We’ve been trying to find ways to help them.”
He said Government measures had produced a big increase in export levels but there was still work to be done.
Dr Fox said: “Getting out to our businesses and saying, ‘Here are the changes we’re making, here are the good things that are happening, here are the things you can take advantage of,’ is what I’d like to see.”
The comments come shortly after he was forced to shut down Remainers in the House of Commons over Britain’s export forecasts.
Labour’s shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner asked Mr Fox why he was so optimistic for Brexit Britain when yesterday’s budget showed the UK’s export growth is expected to decline.
Mr Gardiner said: “Is the minister perhaps an optimist who can find so rational grounds for his optimism?”
Dr Fox, Theresa May’s international trade secretary, immediately hit back and accused Mr Gardiner of talking down Britain.
He joked: “It’s nice to see Project Fear never dies!”
Dr Fox continued: “Rather than going on projections let me tell the honourable gentleman what the economy has actually done. He’s right, while global trade has been growing at about 3 per cent, UK exports have been up 13.1 per cent in the past year.
“That is the real performance of our UK economy, and let me tell him that there is incredible slack in our ability to export further, and we should be encouraging British exports to do so.”