OUT AND INTO THE WORLD
Robin Walker said that membership will “automatically cease to apply” as part of the country’s EU divorce
BRITAIN will leave the EU’s Single Market after Brexit, a Tory Minister has finally confirmed after months of speculation.
Despite Theresa May’s desire to keep her negotiating strategy a secret, Robin Walker said that membership will “automatically cease to apply” as part of the country’s EU divorce.
The Junior Brexit Minister’s revelation came in a parliamentary answer snuck out just before the Christmas break.
‘Remoaners’ claim it’s the first time a government Minister has publicly endorsed that position.
The European Economic Area (EEA), or Single Market, allows different countries around Europe to trade across borders as easily as they can within their own country.
But it also means that the countries have to sign up to freedom of movement within member states.
Asked about the merits of remaining part of the European Economic Area, Mr Walker said: “As the UK is party to the EEA agreement only in its capacity as an EU member state, once we leave the European Union the EEA agreement will automatically cease to apply to the UK.”
Yet when asked if Britain was set to leave the Single Market earlier this month Downing Street insisted that no such decision has been made.
A spokesman said: “We are not going to reveal our negotiating position.”
Campaigners for a “soft Brexit”, who want Britain to stay in the Single Market, are seeking a legal challenge to give MPs a separate vote on that departure.
But the news delighted those pushing for a so called “hard Brexit” where the UK will not remain a member of the single market.
Tory Brexiteer Dominic Raab told The Sun: “This is just common sense, a carefully managed clean break, that allows us to take full advantage of the opportunities of Brexit – from immigration control to free trade.”
But furious Lib Dem chief Tim Farron hit back: “After months of telling us absolutely nothing and having no plan, this slips out.”
He added: “The EU exit department is an utter shambles and I guess the minister and civil servants that gave a straight answer here will be hauled over the coals.”
The revelation came as the Leave Means Leave group wrote to the PM last night to demand more assurances that Britain would leave the Single Market.
They also called on Mrs May to rule out any transitional Brexit deal and instead opt for a “a swift clean Brexit”.
Campaign boss Richard Tice said that Britain “must leave the Single Market in order to restore sovereign control of laws, borders and budgets.”