Theresa May must declare Brexit means quitting the single market, Brexiteers warn ahead of her first TV interview of the new year
Theresa May must make clear Britain will leave the EU single market to ensure it can control immigration and strike trade deals, senior Brexit supporters have warned.
The Prime Minister will give her first TV interview of the year on to Sky News on Sunday and has promised a major Brexit speech to spell out her vision.
Leading Brexiteers seized on the appearance to demand a clear statement from the Prime Minister on the extent of the Brexit deal she would pursue.
No 10 sources said Mrs May planned to use the interview to focus on her plans for social reform and her plans to create a ‘country that works for everyone’ by ending ‘burning injustices’ facing Britons.
On Monday, Mrs May will press ahead with her domestic agenda by unveiling extra help for children with mental health problems in her first speech of the year.
Brexit will swiftly return to the top of the agenda as a Supreme Court ruling is looming on the rules Mrs May must meet to invoke Article 50 and begin official departure talks – something she plans to do before the end of March.
A date has not been set for Mrs May’s Brexit speech but it is expected before the end of January.
Senior Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told MailOnline: ‘I would urge the Prime Minister to make it clear that in order to take back control of our laws and our borders, the UK will be leaving the single market.
‘Mrs May should also state that given our huge trade deficit with the EU, we will generously offer them tariff free access to our market, which is the 5th largest in the world and growing the fastest in the G7.’
Michael Tomlinson, the deputy chairman of the influential Tory European Research Group, said: ‘The Prime Minister has taken a strong lead and we are on the right track.
‘But it is imperative that we leave the internal market, the so-called single market, in order to control immigration and open up trading opportunities across the world.
‘We know from sources close to the President-elect that Donald Trump is mad keen to do an early trade deal with the UK.
‘To take advantage of this – and the numerous other possibilities in Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and other like-minded countries – we must be outside the single market.’
John Longworth, co-chair of the Leave Means Leave campaign, said:’This is the perfect opportunity for the Prime Minister to set out her position ahead of Brexit negotiations.
‘It is time to confirm that she will deliver on what the British public voted for – leaving the single market and the customs union, taking back control of Britain’s borders which means ending preferential migration policy for EU citizens, and guaranteeing that Britain is no longer subject to the European Court of Justice.’
The Prime Minister told her party conference in October getting back control of the border was her first priority.
But she stopped short of saying this would definitely mean quitting the single market – and has since repeatedly insisted she wanted to secure the ‘best possible access’ for British firms.
It was reported this week Mrs May is prepared to go further and make clear to Brussels leaving the EU’s trading zone was a price worth paying – but No 10 played down the claim as ‘speculation’.
The calls on the Prime Minister come after a week of furious rows triggered by ex-EU ambassador Sir Ivan Rogers’ claim Brexit policy was ‘muddled’.
January 6th, 2017: Daily Mail