by Ben Howlett, MP
"The European Single Market is designed to enable free trade within the EU, encompassing more than 26 million businesses. It offers the UK access to a market worth over £9 trillion. Full membership of the single market would allow us to enjoy the same trade benefits and support British companies even after we have left the EU. Continued tariff-free trade will preserve confidence in the British economy through the political turbulence of the coming years, while providing British businesses with the stability of access to 500 million customers and a mobile, skilled workforce. I believe that we must pursue full membership of this single market, both to maintain economic confidence and ease the potential burden on the British people.
While terms like "market confidence" and "stability" are often overused to exhaustion by politicians – anyone heard of the Government's long-term economic plan? – it is important to remember just how important they are to the average British person. It is extremely unhelpful for those trying to be grown-up about an exit to be labelled as sore losers. For many people, Brexit means more than Brexit. It is more than simply a case of sovereignty, or trade barriers, or settling old grudges from decades gone by. Brexit is about the roof over the heads of their family, the status of the workforce their business depends on, and the unifying link between their lives and 500 million other people."