Next PM warned of ‘catastrophic mistake’ in rejoining single market

Lord Adonis says that UK should rejoin the single market

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The new Prime Minister will be tasked with completing the UK’s exit from the EU and delivering the best version of Brexit they can.  When the UK negotiated the Brexit withdrawal agreement, leaving the single market and customs union was a non-negotiable point for Britain.

Some argued that this offered freedom to negotiate global trade deals, while others opposed this, arguing Britain was locking itself out of the source of most of its trade.

Host of political commentary podcast The Rest is Politics podcast Rory Stewart said that the UK could be ready for a  “customs union Brexit”. 

He spoke with co-host Alastair Campbell on the day of Boris Johnson’s resignation, and said: “If you were trying to rebuild the British economy, a big customs union pitch could be a central part of rebuilding confidence.”  

“Now people can see that the problems we are facing particularly with Northern Ireland but also the problems we are facing with trade. 

“We can see that the benefits of these independent trading deals have been incredibly small and we are looking for a confident story.”

In response, ran a poll asking readers whether they thought the UK should look to rejoin the EU single market under a new leader. 

In a poll that ran from 1pm on Tuesday, July 12, to midday on Wednesday, July 13, asked: “Should the next Prime Minister seek to rejoin the single market?”  

A total of 13,227 people cast their votes, with the majority, 80 percent (10.506 people), answering “no”, the next Prime Minister should not seek to rejoin the single market. 

A further 20 percent (2,664 people) said “yes”, while just 57 people said they did not know.

Thousands of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers debated whether the UK should rejoin the single market. 

Most readers were against rejoining the single market, with username Dickie Dido commenting: “The population voted to leave the EU in a national vote. It is not up to the Prime minister or any party to overturn this. We live in a democracy.” 

Username MikeeP said: “The People of this country voted OUT of the EU. That has not changed, however many PMs.” 

Another, username MarlowRobinson said: “A majority of the UK population voted to leave the EU 

“I do not believe it is simply up to a new government to overturn the wish of the people.”

Others suggested that if the next Prime Minister were to lead the UK back to the single market they would be making a mistake.

Username Knobituk wrote: “This would be a catastrophic mistake by any party if they did.” 

Username Hickories said: “The next PM will try to rejoin a single market at their peril, they would not last long as our PM.”


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And username Leytonman said: “If the next Tory leader does that they will be handing the next general election to the Labour Party on a plate.” 

However, others argued that rejoining the single market was a possibility that could be beneficial to trade. 

Username halfamo said: “Never say never. as the majority of Tory MPs have flipped and left the reservation, with Hunt and Sunak in the mix for leader, anything is possible.” 

While username Victor123 said: “We certainly should. Then small businesses could trade again with our nearest neighbours.”

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