Rejoining EU single market now would be ‘stupid’ – ‘Brexit is a long-term plan’

Nigel Farage criticises Keir Starmer on Brexit comments

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Last week, senior Tory MP Tobias Ellwood has argued that Britain could ease the nation’s cost of living crisis by rejoining the EU single market.  He claimed there is an “appetite” to make “course corrections” to Brexit and blamed the UK’s exit from the EU for the cost of living crisis saying “this is not what most people imagined”.

Mr Ellwood, who chairs the Commons Defence Committee, said that “more radical thinking is required if we are to energise our economy through these stormy waters”.

He claims that Brexit challenges facing the UK – including fewer exports to Europe and controversy over the Northern Ireland Protocol – would “disappear” by rejoining the single market.

In response to Mr Ellwood, former chief whip Mark Harper argued: “The UK voted to leave the EU. That meant leaving the single market and putting an end to freedom of movement. The end.”

Meanwhile, treasury minister Simon Clarke said he was pleased to reassure Mr Ellwood that the UK would not be rejoining the single market as this would extinguish half the freedoms that make Brexit so important.

Lord Daniel Hannan has claimed that Britain would have been better off staying in the single market and that it would have saved “a lot of trouble”.

Writing in The Telegraph last week he said: “We should have stayed in the single market, but rejoining it now would be madness.

“Leaving the market was an upheaval, but it was the chance to deregulate. Instead, ministers are retaining rules we once fought to repeal.”

In response, express.co.uk readers were asked if they agreed with Lord Hannan.

In a poll that ran from 9am on Wednesday, June 8, to 11am on Thursday, June 9, Express.co.uk asked: “Was leaving the EU single market a mistake?”

In total 14,553 people responded and a whopping 81 percent (11,757 people)  answered “no”, leaving the EU single market was not a mistake.

A further 19 percent (2,738 people) said “yes” and just 58 people said they did not know.

Inflation has hit an unprecedented level and is estimated to reach 10 percent in the last quarter of this year.

Some have blamed Brexit for the cost of living crisis. However, CEO of Citigroup Jane Fraser has predicted that the whole of Europe could fall into a devastating recession, as households could struggle to cover basic living costs.

Express.co.uk also ran a poll from 4pm on Sunday, June 5, to 11am on Thursday, June 9 asking: “Do you blame Brexit for the cost of living crisis?”

Overall, 20,017 people cast their votes and the vast majority – 78 percent (15,551 people) – said “no”, Brexit is not to blame for the cost of living crisis.

Yet, 22 percent (4,372 people) said “yes”, it was to blame while 94 people said they did not know either way.

Across the two polls, thousands of readers left comments and shared their thoughts on the single market and the impact of Brexit on the cost of living crisis.

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One reader, username JLA said: “Considering the cost of living is rising all over the world, the blame can hardly be put on Brexit.”

Likewise, username BrumPhi, wrote: “If Brexit was to blame for our cost of living crisis, what is the reason for the rest of Europe.”

And username GCBCowboy said: “If Brexit is the cause then why is every other country experiencing the same problem?”

Others questioned if rejoining would benefit the cost of living crisis with username Mīnōtaurus commenting: “No, what benefit would it bring?

“Brexit is about a long term shift in governance, not a fly-by-night decision where we chop and change on a whim.”

Username Michael Taylor said: “And how would rejoining the single market bring down prices?”

Meanwhile, username cretemike said: “Everyone should stop blaming all the world problems on Brexit.”

And username  Vfr750 wrote: “To rejoin would be stupid. Anyone really think we would go back in and be given the same terms we had before we left?”

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