Hammond to push for single market membership

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BY FRED SEARLE

Hammond to push for single market membership

Chancellor expected to urge cabinet to remain in customs union following May’s poor election performance

Hammond to push for single market membership

Philip Hammond
Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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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.

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