Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to push for the UK to remain in the single market following Theresa May’s failure to win a majority in the general election.
May set out her plan for a hard Brexit in January, saying the UK “cannot possibly” stay in the single market.
But following her poor showing in the election on 8 June, it is thought that Hammond will try to change May’s mind on leaving the customs union.
The Times reported that the chancellor, who is seen as one of the most pro-EU cabinet members, was ‘preparing to lead a battle within the government to soften Brexit.’
Unidentified sources told the newspaper that Hammond will urge the government to rethink its plan to leave the trade group, which guarantees tariff-free trade with other members but bans trade deals with third parties.
The chancellor’s new stance appears to be a U-turn, according to the Independent, after he announced in March that Britain would not stay in the EU’s customs union after Brexit.