There’s a lot of talk about the single market – what exactly is it?
Well it has four key components; the free movement of goods, services, capital and people across borders. This allows trade to easily be done between EU countries (and some non-EU countries who are part of the single market, like Norway). It’s one of the biggest advantages of our membership to the EU. Without this, small and large businesses who trade within the EU, the City of London which is the financial centre of Europe, Universities who recruit staff and students from the EU could all suffer.
As you may have heard there are countries who have access to the single market but are not part of the EU. This is something that many people are pushing for.
Yet, what the Leave campaign neglected to make clear was the fact that nobody has access to the single market without allowing free movement of people.
Given that Theresa May’s only real line on Brexit has been that tougher control of immigration will be a red line, we will not be able to sign up for the same agreement as a country like Norway.
What ministers will push for will be a completely bespoke deal, which no other country has.
My concern is that some of the brexiteers will cut off their noses to spite their faces and completely reject the single market without coming up with proposals that can protect our industries.
This is probably the most significant issue that needs to be negotiated with the EU and whilst the leave campaign did not give a clear definition about what they meant by “access” the Tory Government must give us one now.