Brexit round-up: May confirms single market exit

Theresa May confirmed this week that the UK will most likely not remain a member of the single market as negotiations proceed in leaving the European Union.

In her speech, May expressed her wish that agreements must allow the “freest possible trade in goods and services” with countries within and outside the EU.

She said that both sides of the referendum campaign made it clear that leaving the EU would mean a vote to leave the single market.

May also said the country’s relationship with the customs union would change, conveying that full membership “prevents us from negotiating our own comprehensive trade deals.”

Here’s a round-up of reactions from industry and professional bodies.

British Chambers of Commerce

Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC, said:

"Many businesses facing immediate post-Brexit impacts have been preparing for the eventuality that the UK would leave both the single market and the customs union, with some sort of free trade deal to follow. 

“The Prime Minister's remarks largely confirm this, and will lead other firms to think about making similar plans.”

Confederation of Business Industry

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general at CBI, said:

“Businesses will welcome the greater clarity and the ambition to create a more prosperous, open and global Britain, with the freest possible trade between the UK and the EU. 

“The pressure is now on to deliver these objectives and achieve a smooth and orderly exit.”

Federation of Small Businesses

Mike Cherry, national chairman at FSB, said:

“Small employers will welcome the pledge to maintain the UK as a true magnet for international talent. We have pressed the Government hard to guarantee the right to remain for non-UK EU nationals in existing workforces, and no early cut-off date. 

“Any future system must help small firms to easily recruit the right person, for the right job, at the right time.”

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