May Considers Asking to Stay in Single Market For Goods

The extremely well-connected Brexit wonk Charles Grant writes in the FT today that the government is considering asking to stay in the single market for goods. Guido also understands this is under active consideration in Number 10. Grant writes that this means de facto accepting ECJ rulings and EU rules and regulations, and potentially a compromise on free movement:

“The challenge, however, is that the EU would never agree to Britain being in the single market for goods unless it adopted all relevant rules, submitted to a punishment mechanism for any deviation, and accepted some oversight by the European Court of Justice… If the UK does request membership of the single market in goods, the EU’s initial reaction will be no. Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief negotiator, says the single market is “ binary” — you are either in all or none of it — and must involve free movement of labour.”

If we agree to become a rule-taker on goods and accept ECJ rulings, we are clearly not taking back control of laws. If we have full alignment with Brussels regulations on goods, that severely hampers our ability to strike trade deals with other countries – that is not taking back control of trade policy. If there is a compromise on free movement, that is not taking back control of borders. And it is unfathomable the EU would agree to all this without the UK making significant ongoing payments of vast sums to Brussels. That is not taking back control of money. Staying in the single market for goods crosses May’s own red lines, and goes miles beyond the red lines of Brexiters. 

Number 10 may have wagered that they can buy off Brexiters like Boris and Gove by agreeing to spend the Brexit dividend on the NHS (even though this is disingenuous and the NHS money is mostly tax rises). But surely there is no way Boris, Gove, Fox and Davis – or any Brexiter for that matter – could stay in the government if their red lines were rubbed out like this. This would be the softest of Brexits – Cabinet Leavers must stand up to Number 10 on this…

Clegg Said Brexit Meant Leaving Single Market

It really is Single Market Groundhog Day today. Guido can’t quite believe we are still having this argument two years on from the referendum, but it falls upon us once again to point out that, during the referendum, Nick Clegg was clear that Brexit meant leaving the single market. As was David Miliband. Their attempt today to pretend they never said this is why people hate politicians.

David Miliband Admitted During Referendum That Brexit Means Leaving the Single Market

David Miliband is giving a speech this morning about how we should stay in the single market. On 9 May 2016, at the height of the referendum campaign, the same David Miliband told voters that voting to leave the EU would mean leaving the single market. This is from a Stronger In press release. He could not have been clearer:

“The admission by the Leave campaign that quitting the EU means quitting the single market has let the cat out of the bag: a vote to Leave would be an unprecedented act of economic self-harm.”

This really is the height of dishonesty from Miliband.

Starmer Joins Orchestrated Remainer Attempt to Keep Us in Single Market

Back in March, Guido revealed the existence of a draft press release that showed Keir Starmer was working with Brussels to change Labour’s policy to staying in a customs union. It would now appear that he is doing the same on the single market. On Marr yesterday, Starmer called for us to have the exact same benefits of single market membership. He said: “We’ve been absolutely clear what the combination needs to be… we need to make sure it’s the combination, customs union and single market”. Today, he is in Brussels to talk to the EU about “retaining benefits of single market“.

It would appear that, as he did with a customs union, Starmer is attempting to shift Labour’s policy towards single market membership.

It is inconceivable that this is not being coordinated with other Remainers. In the pro-Remain Mail on Sunday yesterday, David Miliband, Nicky Morgan and Nick Clegg called for ‘hard Brexit’ to be prevented. (Remainers, ever trying to move the dial back, are now defining ‘hard Brexit’ as leaving the single market.) On the Today programme this morning, Miliband explicitly called for us to retain single market membership. Norway has this morning u-turned on its reticence to the UK joining the EEA. Anna Soubry has a letter in today’s Times calling for the “softest of Brexit landings”. This all the week after the Lords voted to stay in the single market.

Remainers pushing for “the exact same benefits” of single market membership are being deeply dishonest. It would mean accepting free movement. It would mean being a rule-taker. It would mean ECJ oversight. It would mean paying vast sums to Brussels forever. It would not mean taking back control. Miliband, Morgan, Clegg and Soubry should be honest enough to admit that they are trying to defy the referendum result. Starmer needs to come clean: his call to keep the exact same benefits of the single market is no different…

i / Mirror’s Fake Single Market Poll Rubbished

When Guido saw the i splash on a new poll claiming a majority now back single market membership, he foolishly assumed it was a real poll conducted by a polling company that meets the basic British Polling Council rules. Turns out it was an online survey of readers of Johnston Press, Trinity Mirror and Newsquest websites, with no methodology, tables or demographics published. Anthony Wells from YouGov and UK Polling Report is justifiably damning:

The i has actually splashed on their own online survey as if it is a real poll, when in reality it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. The Mirror at least buried this guff on page 12. How is a survey of readers of three news groups’ websites possibly representative? Total amateur hour masquerading as news…

Mandelson Lies About Single Market

Peter Mandelson told the Today programme “new facts are coming to light” that “no one could have known during the referendum”, including that “the government has announced that we would leave the single market… nobody said this at the time”. This ain’t just spin from Mandy, it’s a knowing fib. We’ve been here time and time again with the zombie Remain campaign – they know Cameron, Osborne, Gove and Boris all told voters during the referendum that Brexit meant leaving the single market, and still they tell this deliberate untruth. If a Brexiter told a lie as blatant as this the Remain media would be going on about it for days…

UPDATE: Mark Wallace points out that Mandelson himself said we cannot leave the EU and “enjoy the benefits of the single market” on 10 June last year. So even Mandy was saying it. Caught red-handed…

Flint: Remainers Aren’t Being Honest About Single Market

Labour’s Caroline Flint says Labour Remainers like Clive Lewis are not being honest and that continued single market membership would not be a real Brexit. Fair play to Caroline, she is one of the few Labour MPs speaking the truth at the moment…

McDonnell: Single Market Membership Not Respecting Referendum

This was John McDonnell on June 11, warning: “I think people would interpret membership of the single market as not respecting that referendum”. A couple of months ago Corbyn sacked three frontbenchers for voting to stay in the single market. Now it is Labour policy to retain single market membership for years after we leave. Not credible…

Ed’s Balls on Single Market

Ed Balls claimed on last night’s This Week that “many people on the Leave campaign were saying they wanted to stay in the single market“. He was then unable to name one (because there weren’t any). As Nigel said in response: “every single leading player, all the way through the referendum, could not have been clearer, a vote for Brexit was a vote to leave the single market.Still the hardcore Remainers perpetuate this myth…

Labour Brexit Chaos: Starmer Backs Staying in Customs Union

Last week Corbyn and McDonnell said Labour policy was to leave the single market. Today on Marr their Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer suggested Britain should stay inside in some way. Corbyn and McDonnell have backed leaving the customs union. Today Starmer said Britain should stay in. Is Labour’s Brexit spokesman freelancing? Labour have been in complete chaos on Brexit all week.

Staying in the single market and customs union means Britain cannot take back control of borders and strike new trade deals around the world. It is not Brexit, it is going back on the referendum result. Going to annoy a lot of Labour voters…

Labour Unity Over: Chaos Over Single Market

It took three days for Labour’s unity to crack. Yesterday John McDonnell told Peston Britain would be leaving the single market. Blairites have responded by labelling Corbyn and McDonnell “Brextremists“:

Now the Shadow Cabinet has split too. Asked this morning if Labour would “definitely” leave the single market, Remainer Corbynista Barry Gardiner directly contradicted McDonnell:

“No, what we’ve said is it’s an open question as to what we can get… [Theresa May] has taken off the table membership of the single market. We’ve said let’s look at that and see if it can be reformed.”

And what of Chuka Umunna? On Friday he grovelled and made clear he wanted to serve in Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet. Chuka is an arch-Remainer who insists we must stay in the single market. How can he possibly serve under a leader who supports leaving?

UPDATE: Barry Gardiner has now told the Daily Politics he supports leaving the single market, completely contradicting what he said a few hours ago. Oh dear…

Davis: We Are Leaving Single Market

On election night David Davis had a bit of a wobble and conceded that single market membership might be back on the table thanks to the dire Tory result. These words infuriated Leave Tories and were immediately seized upon by gleeful Remainers. Today Davis has clarified that Britain will still be leaving the single market, and that we will “not be going down the Norway route”.

Today’s Times splash excitedly claims May will now pursue “soft Brexit“. The policy remains to leave the single market. Not soft Brexit, just Brexit…

McDonnell: We Have to Leave Single Market

John McDonnell makes clear Labour will take Britain out of the single market as remaining in would not honour the referendum result. He is of course correct. Important message for those Remainers who are trying to use the election to overturn the referendum result, despite 580+ MPs being elected on pro-Brexit manifestos…

Brillo Catches Out Clegg’s Lies

The Daily Politics dug out a clip of Nick Clegg during the referendum to prove beyond all doubt that he is telling barefaced lies about the single market. They literally played Clegg a video of himself saying during the referendum that Brexit meant leaving the single market, and still he refused to accept it. This is why people hate politicians…

Soubry’s Manifesto Double Standard

Anna Soubry has repeatedly used the 2015 Tory manifesto commitment on the Single Market to support her own position that the UK should retain membership post-Brexit. This is really not as clever as she thinks it is. First, the referendum obviously gives the government a new mandate to leave the Single Market. Second, it turns out Soubry doesn’t actually care for manifesto promises when they don’t suit her. Her article for the Indy today calls for the government to drop its manifesto commitment to cutting immigration. Soubs has run on three straight Tory manifestos calling for immigration cuts. She is demanding the government sticks to the manifesto on the Single Market but breaks it on immigration – truly having her cake and eating it…

British Influence’s Brexit Legal Challenge Blocked By High Court

The High Court has blocked another legal challenge to Brexit from British Influence’s arch-Remainer Peter Wilding and Tory eccentric Adrian Yalland. Their campaign to keep Britain in the single market asked judges to rule that parliament must separately give permission before the government can pull out of the European Economic Area (EEA). It failed. These Remainers like losing their money…

Hammond Beats May To It: UK Out of Single Market

Philip Hammond informs parliament of the government’s announcement on the single market before Theresa May’s speech, telling Tory MP William Wragg at Treasury questions: “we will go forward understanding we cannot be members of the Single Market because of the political red lines around the four freedoms”There it is at last.

And May confirms 15 minutes after it was announced to parliament:

Brexit Means Leaving the Single Market

Merkel and the EU have been clear: you cannot be a member of the single market without freedom of movement. Theresa May has been clear: we are taking back control of our borders. Since October the PM’s language has confirmed Britain’s membership of the single market will end. Ministers have even said this on the record. As much as the LibDems today scream about ‘hard Brexit’, this is just Brexit. Theresa May’s evasive non-answers to Sophy Ridge were a largely pointless exercise. She is right that a good trade relationship with the EU and single market membership is not a binary issue, as Guido has shown with the US, China, Japan and South Korea among others. May can clear up the simple point of membership once and for all and put Remainers out of their misery. It’s mad that Westminster is still wasting time wondering if single market membership will continue, that was decided on June 23…

Clegg’s Single Market Delusion

The Daily Politics played Nick Clegg referendum clips of David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom all saying Brexit meant leaving the Single Market. Still Clegg insisted people didn’t know that’s what they were voting for. Deluded…

China’s Free Access to Single Market

trade-value-china-eu

Here’s another reminder that trade flows freely in and out of the so-called ‘Single Market’ even if you are a non-member. China trades over half-a-trillion dollars annually with the EU and pays no annual fee for access to the common regulatory regime.[…] Read the rest

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