Theresa May must protect British membership of the Single Market and Customs Union, and keep the UK close to Europe after Brexit, cross-party politicians from the Open Britain campaign say today.
Neil Carmichael, Norman Lamb and Pat McFadden made their call in advance of Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech on Tuesday.
Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“We should not start this negotiation by volunteering for economic damage. If the Prime Minister is going to say she wants to leave the single market she needs to show how she will guarantee there will not be barriers erected – either tariffs, standards, or any other bureaucratic impediments – between UK businesses and our single biggest market.
“The Prime Minister says she wants a one nation Britain but the Chancellor's threat to make Britain an ultra-low tax, low social spending economy poses a direct threat to public services and all those who rely on them. This runs directly counter to the promises of the Leave campaign who said pulling out of the EU would mean more money for public services, specifically the NHS.
"If the Chancellor's threat was to come to pass, it would mean the Prime Minister's hard Brexit strategy and her statements on bringing the country together would be pulling in completely different directions. The bottom line is that these negotiations must not harm jobs, trade or living standards.
Neil Carmichael MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“The Prime Minister’s commitment to trading as freely as possible with the EU is welcome, but the best possible trading arrangement with the EU is full participation in the Single Market.
“No other arrangement is comparable, and so if the Government abandons membership of the Single Market, they will start the negotiations opting for second best.
“The best deal for the UK economy would be to start the conversations with our European partners about how we could make Single Market membership work.”
Norman Lamb MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“The Government must not throw away Britain’s best chance to succeed outside the EU.
“If barriers are erected between ourselves and the EU, it will hurt young peoples’ life chances., businesses’ opportunities to expand, and communities’ ability to regenerate.
“Leaving the European Union does not mean we have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and the Prime Minister should not abandon the things that help our economy just to satisfy those who demand a hard and destructive Brexit.”