The Single Market must be central to any Brexit deal: it would mean close economic ties but leaving political union. When I questioned the Prime Minister on the importance of Single Market membership for workers’ rights, the integrity of the union and for the services sector, she suggested there is another way to protect Services (80% of economy), but refused to share her cunning plan! Then said we should leave to Tories to protect workers’ rights!
Stephen Kinnock: The Prime Minister knows that full membership of the single market is the only way we can guarantee workers’ rights and the integrity of the Union and do something for the services sector, which represents 80% of the economy. A stand-alone customs union simply does not cut it. In the options that will be presented to us if the talks do not work, can she guarantee that full membership of the single market through the European economic area will be on offer?
The Prime Minister: I do not recognise the picture painted by the hon. Gentleman. It is not the case that full membership of the single market is the only way to achieve the benefits that he has referred to. He is right that it is particularly important, as we leave the European Union, that we have a care for our services sector, given the significant extent to which it plays a role in our economy. On flexibility, maintaining and recognising the importance of the City of London, particularly in financial services and the risk borne here in the United Kingdom, leads us to want to see that greater flexibility in relation to services.
It is not the case that the only way to ensure that we maintain and enhance workers’ rights in the United Kingdom is through full membership of the single market. This is a Government who are enhancing workers’ rights, because we believe that is what is right in the United Kingdom.