UK may pay for access to EU single market: Brexit Minister
The UK government says it may pay in order to maintain its access to the European Union (EU) single market after leaving the bloc.
Brexit Secretary David Davis made the announcement during a regular session facing lawmakers in the House of Commons on Thursday.
'The major criterion here is that we get the best possible access for goods and services to the European market – and if that is included in what you are talking about, then of course we will consider it,' he said.
The strategy did not go well with some of the Parliament members, with Brexit-backing Tory Peter Bone calling it an outrageous offer.
“People will be absolutely outraged if we came out of the EU and then carried on paying them £15 billion a year, £20 billion a year, whatever the figure is – no I don’t think it’s going to happen. In that very hypothetical case people will be exceptionally upset about it. But it’s just not going to happen,” the MP told the BBC.
Retaining access to the single market has been one of the major worries for UK businesses ever since the country voted to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23.
The government of Prime Minister Theresa May says that in order to maintain access to the single market, the UK could loosen its borders to meet certain EU immigration standards.
However, Brexit supporters have strongly opposed that strategy, saying they prefer less immigration to single market access.
London seems to be serious about paying to preserve the right since Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond backed the Brexit minister's proposal.
'You can’t go into any negotiation expecting to get every single objective that you set out with and concede nothing along the way – it will have to be a deal that works for both sides,' he told the BBC. 'I think David Davis is absolutely right not to rule out the possibility that we might want to contribute in some way to some form of mechanism.'
The negotiations to withdraw the UK from the EU would begin sometime in March next year, provided that a legal dispute between the government and the MPs resolves by then.
Last month, the UK High Court ruled that the government needed a parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in order to begin the negotiations.
May appealed the ruling and is now waiting to present her case when the court convenes later this month. - Press TV.