European Council

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 14th March 2017.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Labour, Streatham 12:43 pm, 14th March 2017

On single market membership, in their 2015 manifesto the Prime Minister and her party made an unconditional commitment to

“safeguard British interests in the Single Market.”

She castigated my hon. Friends the Members for Wirral South (Alison McGovern) and for Pontypridd (Owen Smith) for raising that issue, but on 26 May 2016 she told an audience of Goldman Sachs bankers, in relation to single market membership, that

“the economic arguments are clear. I think being part of a 500-million trading bloc is significant”.

Why is she waving the white flag and starting these negotiations without even trying to keep our membership of the single market, with the reforms she seeks? We are the second-biggest economy in Europe and the fifth-biggest military power in the world, and she is waving the white flag before the negotiations have started.