Cake for Labour, too
The shadow business secretary has described Labour’s Brexit policy as “have our cake and eat it”, while conceding it would be difficult to keep single market and customs union benefits without major concessions.
Rebecca Long-Bailey said maintaining access to, or even membership of, the customs union and single market could prove problematic. Asked on BBC1’s Sunday Politics about singlemarket membership after leaving the EU, she said the party must “respect the result of the referendum, respect the will of the people in terms of having greater control over our laws, greater control over our borders”.
“If we could negotiate membership of the single market whilst dealing with free movement and dealing with the other issues then that would be great, but I think that’s probably unlikely and we’ll have to be looking at a more flexible approach that maintains the benefits that we currently have in the single market whilst perhaps not being a member.”
On customs union, Long-Bailey, pictured below, said: “We want to maintain the benefits that we currently have within the customs union – we want to have our cake and eat it, as do most parties in Westminster.”
She said Britain should try to keep the benefits of the customs union while being able to negotiate its trade deals. Asked if such an approach was untenable, she said: “That’s the whole point of negotiations. Not to be untenable, but to negotiate the position. Our end goal is to maintain the benefits we currently have as part of the customs union and the single market. “The machinery that we use to do that, whether it’s through outside agreements or negotiating some form of amendment settlement as part of membership, that’s a moot point, quite frankly. But we need to make sure that we have the same benefits.”