Britain will retain access to single market and curb migration under plans considered by Theresa May
Theresa May holding her first cabinet meeting in July. Photograph by Dan Kitwood for PA
The Associated Press
LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May is bringing her Cabinet together at her rural retreat to plot Britain’s first steps on leaving the European Union.
Officials at May’s Downing Street office say May will oversee a daylong brainstorming session with Cabinet colleagues Wednesday at Chequers, the prime minister’s 16th-century mansion 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of London.
May, a Eurosceptic who remained neutral during June’s referendum on leaving the EU, was appointed prime minister last month following David Cameron’s resignation as Conservative Party leader. Cameron had campaigned to keep Britain in the 28-nation bloc. May says her government will abide by the results of the vote and intends to open exit negotiations with EU colleagues next year.
May has returned to London after a two-week walking holiday in the Swiss Alps.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing street
By Laura Hughes
August 28, 2016
Britain will retain access to the single market for financial sector and the car industry while curbing migration under plans being considered by Theresa May.
Philip Hammond will this week put forward plans for Britain to retain access to the single market on a “sector-by-sector” basis during a meeting at Chequers.
CREDIT: JACK TAYLOR/GETTY IMAGES
Mrs May has previously suggested that Britain should have a “bespoke” deal after it leaves the European Union.
The Prime Minister’s cabinet is due to gather on Wednesday where they will outline how their departments can make a success out of leaving the EU.
It comes amid reports of a an internal row between senior figures in the party over whether or not the government should retain membership of the single market.
Philip Hammond is understood to believe Britain should fight to stay in the economic area.
A source close to the Chancellor told the Sunday Times that single-market access could be maintained “on a sector by sector basis”.
Britain will retain access to the single market for financial sectors and the car industry
They added: “A key priority is going to be financial services for us. For the Germans, the automotive industry is going to be key.”
However, senior government sources said David Davis, Dr Liam Fox and Mrs May’s adviser Nick Timothy, all believe Britain can only curb migration if it leaves the single market.
A senior Conservative told the paper: “There’s a tussle going on here. The chief culprit is the chancellor.
“He has taken the position that there are no red lines, that you’ve got to stay part of the market and it doesn’t matter what you give way on. Hammond is operating as a blocking mechanism.”
They added that the team surrounding Mrs May’s “believe controls on immigration are vital — this is the bit where the chancellor has been dragging his feet. The Treasury wants to run all this stuff. They are furious that anyone else is responsible for it.”
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A Treasury source dismissed suggestions of a cabinet split, arguing that ministers all share a similar view.
“Everyone agrees there has to be controls on immigration and some access to the single market – taking a flexible approach,” he said.
It comes after a former Cabinet Secretary said Brexit “is not inevitable” and the UK could instead stay on as part of a changed European Union.
Lord O’Donnell said he anticipated that whatever happened the UK would also keep in place EU law and rules.
The peer also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there was no “rush” for Theresa May to trigger the two-year negotiation period that will take the UK out of the EU.
See also The Guardian: Theresa May calls Brexit meeting amid reports of single market split
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