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Closed petition Apply to join the European Union Single Market

Apply to re-join the European Union Single Market.

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Withdrawing from the single market is an act of economic sabotage that will put people out of work and into poverty. It will increase the cost of household goods and make life harder for millions of britons. Leaving the single market during the worst recession in hundreds of years is an act of extreme recklessness. The public were not consulted on withdrawing from the single market. It is possible to be part of the single market without being a member of the EU. Rejoin the Single Market Now!

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Government responded

This response was given on 30 April 2021

From 31 December 2020, the UK is outside the EU customs union and single market fulfilling the Government’s manifesto commitment to get Brexit done and take back control of our money, borders and laws

Read the response in full

The EU determines the requirements for Single Market membership. Such requirements are incompatible with the UK acting as a sovereign trading nation. The UK’s exit from the EU ensures that we are economically and politically independent and our laws will be determined by our own elected politicians.

On 31 January 2020 the United Kingdom left the EU. The transition period with the European Union ended on 31 December 2020 marking a new chapter in the United Kingdom’s national story, one of great change and even greater opportunity.

Since 31 December 2020, the UK has been outside the EU’s customs union and the EU’s Single Market, fulfilling clear manifesto commitments voted for by the British public.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) reached between the UK and EU is a comprehensive Canada style free trade deal worth £668 billion. This deal will protect jobs across the country and maintain zero tariffs and zero quotas on trade in goods between the UK and EU. This is the first time the EU has ever agreed to complete tariff-free quota-free access in a Free Trade Agreement.

We continue to stand with businesses, helping them adjust to and capitalise on the opportunities created by this excellent deal – helping to boost productivity, unlock investment and safeguard high value jobs in the UK.

Our new relationship with the EU is an unparalleled chance for us to do things differently and better - improving the lives of our citizens, increasing businesses’ access to new markets and boosting our national prosperity. The UK-EU trade statistics published by the ONS in April 2021 show that goods exports have returned to close to the average 2020 level, with the ONS highlighting that the ‘disruptions to food exports in January appear to have largely been overcome’.

Internationally, the UK now operates an independent trade policy for the first time in 50 years. This was not possible inside the EU single market and customs union. Our new tariff regime will make our economy more competitive, make our imports cheaper and cut red tape for traders. We have transitioned trade agreements with 64 countries, securing existing relationships, preferences and supply chains.

The new Free Trade Agreements we strike will grow our GDP, increase our trade with the rest of the world, create new opportunities for our exporters and deliver better choice and value for our consumers.

This includes agreements with Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and Singapore, which together accounted for £71 billion of UK trade in 2019. We will put the UK at the centre of a network of modern deals spanning the Americas and Pacific. Negotiations are currently ongoing with Australia, New Zealand, and the US on deals that will have significant opportunities for the whole of the United Kingdom.

We are seeking to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), recognising the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific to the UK economy, and supporting our aim to agree trade agreements covering 80% of UK trade by 2022. We have also launched an Enhanced Trade Partnership with India.

Taken together, with an agile, futureproofed UK economy combined with an ambitious global agenda, we will level up towns, regions and nations across the whole of the United Kingdom, creating good jobs for those who want them and improving the quality of life for all.

Cabinet Office