UK Prime Minister Teresa May has confirmed that she intends for the UK to leave the UK single market. However, she also suggested that the government’s negotiations would push for the UK to have access to the single market without being a member.
She said: “This agreement should allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU’s member states.
“It should give British companies the maximum possible freedom to trade with and operate within European markets and let European businesses do the same in Britain. But I want to be clear: what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.”
In a much-anticipated speech to announce the UK’s priorities for Brexit negotiations, the UK PM highlighted a number of plans including the below that will affect cross border trade:
- Tariff-free trade with the EU
- A customs agreement with the EU
- New trade agreements with countries outside the EU
The Prime Minister’s speech seems to fly in the face of the agenda of other EU leaders who have previously warned that the UK could not simply “cherry pick” access to the single market. The single market allows the free movement of goods, services and workers between its members. Mrs May, however, seems to want to fight for free movement of goods and services while restricting the free movement of people.
This isn’t the end of it by any means. The Prime Minister and her team will be engaged in intense negotiations with the remaining EU members once Article 50 is triggered by the end of March. It’s unlikely that the UK will be able to have it’s cake and eat it when it comes to free trade with the EU but Teresa May has certainly set out her stall.
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