Theresa May has agreed with her cabinet that restricting immigration will be a red line in any negotiations with the EU, in a move that experts claim will end Britain’s membership of the single market.
The prime minister and her team, who met at Chequers – the PM’s country retreat – also confirmed that MPs will not be given a vote before the government triggers article 50, beginning the two-year countdown to a British exit.
“There was a strong emphasis on pushing ahead to article 50 to lead Britain successfully out of the European Union – with no need for a parliamentary vote,” May’s spokeswoman said, before setting out how restrictions to freedom of movement would be at the centre of any Brexit deal.
“Several cabinet members made it clear that we are leaving the EU but not leaving Europe, with a decisive view that the model we are seeking is one unique to the United Kingdom and not an off-the-shelf solution,” she said.
“This must mean controls on the numbers of people who come to Britain from Europe but also a positive outcome for those who wish to trade goods and services.”
When will they learn that they cannot have restrictions on immigration as well as membership of the single market? If the EU were to accept a deal of such a nature, other EU states would claim something similar and the free movement of labour pillar would crumble away.