Should UK rejoin EU single market to improve economy? POLL
Rishi Sunak says he ‘believes in Brexit’
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ruled out Britain forming a Swiss-style relationship with the European Union, which would put the nation back in the single market, on Monday. Membership could help boost Britain’s economy but would require alignment with EU laws and policies. So do you think the UK should rejoin? Vote in our poll.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson oversaw the UK’s withdrawal from the single market, signing a Brexit deal which created trade barriers with the bloc. Membership would help resolve issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol and ease trade with the bloc by scrapping red tape and export costs.
Some members of the public have argued that membership would help improve the nation’s economic situation. One caller on LBC last week told host Lewis Goodall: “Brexit has been a disaster. I think if we’re struggling for growth, we need to rejoin the customs union and the common market.”
They added: “With the state that we’re in now, I’d love to see a political party campaigning to join the customs union and the common market and if not, set the ball rolling to join the EU again.”
Last week the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) claimed that Brexit had negatively effected the UK’s economy, reducing both trade volume and relationships. Their report said: “Our trade forecast reflects our assumption that Brexit will result in the UK’s trade intensity being 15 percent lower in the long run than if the UK had remained in the EU. The latest evidence suggests that Brexit has had a significant adverse impact on UK trade.”
It added: “The UK is also languishing behind G7 competitors, including Italy, France and Germany, when it comes to GDP growth since 2019.”
In response, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the UK would work to improve trading relations with the EU without rejoining the single market.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think having unfettered trade with our neighbours and countries all over the world is very beneficial to growth.
“I have great confidence that over the years ahead we will find outside the single market we are able to remove the vast majority of the trade barriers that exist between us and the EU. It will take time.”
He continued: “I don’t think it’s [the single market] the right way to boost growth because it would be against what people were voting for when they supported Brexit which was to have control of our borders and membership of the single market requires free movement of people. So I think we can find other ways that will more than compensate for those advantages.”
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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer ruled out a return to the EU’s single market or customs union if his party wins the next general election.
In a speech at the CBI conference in Birmingham, he said: “We are not going back to the EU. That means not going back into the single market or customs union.
“But we have to make Brexit work, the deal the Government has got us is not working well. It’s holding business back, it’s holding growth back.”
So what do YOU think? Should UK rejoin the single market to improve the economy? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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