The Government’s own website still states that the Single Market ‘can drive growth and jobs’ and lists improving the workings of the Single Market as a Government policy, despite the Government’s declared intention to leave the Single Market in 2019.
On the www.gov.uk system, the Single Market is listed as a policy which is the responsibility of two departments lead by hardline Brexiteers – the Foreign Office and the Department for International Trade. Other responsible departments are the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The webpage says that ‘the Single Market is key to Europe’s place in the global economy’ and that ‘it can drive growth and jobs.’ It continues by saying the Government is ‘aiming to make the Single Market more productive, better for small business, and fit for a digital age, so that businesses can operate cross-border in the same way they do at home.’
A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research recently calculated that leaving the Single Market could cost the UK economy as much as £36 billion a year, while the European Parliament has calculated that completing the Single Market in the way the Government describes could add over £900bn to Europe’s economy.
Commenting, Stella Creasy MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“It seems the civil servants in charge of the Government’s own website are much more clued up about economics than many Cabinet ministers.
“They are quite right that the Single Market drives growth and jobs in Britain. By staying in for the long term, we would both prevent damage to our economy and increase the benefits we enjoy, as the Single Market is extended into new sectors like digital.
“Leaving the Single Market will put growth and jobs at risk. For the sake of everyone whose job is now under pressure, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox must change their position and support full membership of the Single Market for Britain in the future.”
Notes to editors:
The Government’s webpage on its Single Market policy states:
‘The Single Market is key to Europe’s place in the global economy. It can drive growth and jobs, but barriers remain in vital sectors including services and digital. We’re aiming to make the Single Market more productive, better for small business, and fit for a digital age, so that businesses can operate cross-border in the same way they do at home.’
The webpage makes clear the Departments involved in this policy are the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; HM Treasury; Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and Department for International Trade.
This policy appears on the Treasury homepage under ‘our policies’: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-treasury
It is included in the FCO’s list of policies: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies?organisations%5B%5D=foreign-commonwealth-office
And it is included in the list of policies for BEIS: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies?organisations%5B%5D=department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy
The CEBR analysis is reported here: http://www.cityam.com/265136/heres-much-losing-access-single-market-could-cost-uk
The European Parliament Research Service calculated in 2015 that completing the Single Market in digital and services could add 1.030 trillion euros to the EU’s GDP. On current exchange rates, this comes out as £927 billion: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/536364/EPRS_STU(2015)536364_EN.pdf