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The vote to leave the European Union has revealed very different views of Britain's place in the world.

But there is one thing that we agree on: the majority of British people want to remain part of the European Single Market.

Two-thirds of voters believe staying in the Single Market should be the top priority for British politicians negotiating with the EU.

Now our government must act to secure our place in the world’s biggest economic bloc.

Why do so many people support this option?

Staying in the Single Market (also known as the EEA option) is backed by the majority of Leave and Remain voters. These are some of the reasons why:

  • We will take much of the risk out of leaving, giving us breathing room to make Brexit a safer process — not a sudden event. Business, investment and jobs depend on economic stability.

  • The EEA option will help to keep Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar with the United Kingdom by keeping crucial access to the full single market. It will prevent a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which could cause serious political unrest.

  • Millions of Britons can still live in the EU, including many retired people. We can’t abandon our fellow citizens - saving the Single Market means they won’t have to suddenly sell up and come back.

  • UK courts will no longer be legally bound by the direct effect and supremacy of EU law.

  • If we stay in the Single Market, we can still take action to restrict free movement in the event of “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties.” Importantly, it gives British people the right to work elsewhere in Europe too.

 

Who supports staying in the Single Market?

“Staying in the Single Market can bring together Leave and Remain supporters. As I said before: "The fact is, many Leave voters view Britain as pro-migration, pro-business, pro-market. The vast majority of voters cast a vote either for Britain to stay in the EU and in a single market, or want our nation to trade with both Europe and turn towards the rest of the world."”
Mike HarrisCEO, 89up
“"Staying in the Single Market means more, and better quality, jobs for British people. Staying in the Single Market is the right decision for social justice and social mobility." ”
Sarah VeroFormer Director, Living Wage Foundation
“The single market doesn't just guarantee the UK's economic strength, it's vital if we want to give this generation the same opportunities as the last. I don't want to see talented young people moving to Berlin to set up their innovative companies, I want to see smart Berliners come to London.”
Rupert MyersPolitical Correspondent for British GQ; contributor to The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian. Fellow @wearebrightblue.
“As a Northern Irish resident who voted Remain, it has awoken in me levels of resentment towards the concept of Unionism that I have never felt before. I feel like a slave to the wishes of England, no better than a subdued subject. As a native of the city that built the Titanic, I feel qualified to say that remaining part of the UK feels like being on a sinking ship with too few lifeboats. For those of us without wealth and resources - it is essential that our regions remain in the Single Market.”
Lyra McKeeInvestigative journalist
“Membership of the single market is much more than just a set of trade deals: it requires members to abide by EU law, including employment and workplace protections. UK workers cannot rely on domestic politicians to maintain those protections. The minimum European standards found in EU law are required to ensure our rights to fairness in the workplace are maintained. Membership of the single market is a crucial safety net to everyone who works in Britain.””
Peter DalyAssociate Solicitor, Bindmans LLP
“I support the single market because we are at our strongest, safest and most secure when we have the highest environmental standards and protections. It is European directives which have cleaned-up Britain’s beaches and rivers, are ridding Britain of the most dangerous chemicals in our environment, ensuring that we have clean air to breath and that our wildlife is protected. Britain’s environmental law and its enforcement must continue to be as strong or stronger than that of the rest of Europe”
Sepi Golzari-MunroEnvironmental Campaigner
“One of the clarion calls of the Brexit campaign was that the EU was a thicket of red tape but that is as nothing compared to the red tape we will face if we leave the Single Market. It is hard enough to sell into Europe with no barriers, let’s not make barriers where there are currently none. When we joined the then EEC, it had 257 million consumers. Now it has 510 million. In 2014, its GDP was $18.5 trillion – bigger than the US. We must remain in the Single Market.”
Mark BentleyHead of Drama, Oxford Film and Television
“Trade with Europe is vital to our growth, the ability to sell our technology to growing cities such as Paris, Rome, Berlin, Madrid is key from a central hub/ the UK. Mobility of labour from countries with excellent technical skill bases such as Poland and Romania help us to grow faster”
Laurence Kemball-CookCEO & Founder, Pavegen
“Opinion polls show that staying in the single market is supported by a majority of the British people plus most British businesses. But, without groups like the Single Market Campaign making the case, there is a real danger that the UK could end up in glorious isolation, which would be hugely damaging for our economy and our status in the world”
Simon HixProfessor of Political Science at LSE, Fellow of the British Academy
“As a science communicator, writer and broadcaster, I want to be able to work and collaborate freely with research institutions across Europe. Furthermore, UK science relies on free movement of scientists throughout Europe - UK scientists benefit from training and working in European labs, and we benefit by having the best and brightest European researchers coming to work here. This is all at risk if we leave the single market.”
Kat ArneyScience communicator
“My petition calling for London Independence started as a tongue-in-cheek call for London to leave Britain so that it can remain in the EU. But given the huge reaction - with over 178,000 people signing up - it is clear to me that while we should respect the outcome of the referendum, we should also recognise that there are large numbers of people out there who do want to remain in an optimistic, outward-looking country that is welcoming to outsiders. Staying in the single market is the best way to achieve this in the current circumstances, and is the best way to protect our jobs, our wages and our rights.”
James O'MalleyJournalist and writer
“The economic shocks of Brexit must be mitigated as much as possible. We simply cannot risk anothe recession so soon after the last one, and when so many of our communities are yet to recover. Staying in the single market is vital in order to safeguard our economy, and the livelihoods of people in this country. That's why I'm backing this campaign.”
Ellie Mae O'HaganJournalist; writes for the Guardian, Independent and The Times and co-founder of the Words by Women Awards
“This is an important campaign. We need to keep Britain in the Single European Market in order to make Brexit a safer process. Remaining a part of the world's largest single market makes sense for economic stability, investments and the livelihoods of ordinary people.”
Hardeep SinghPress secretary @sikhmessenger and free speech advocate
“The arts and academia depend on fluid, frequent collaborations across European borders. Access to them isn't easy or stable for EEA countries: after Switzerland voted for a cap on EU immigration, the EU's first retaliatory move was to cancel their ERASMUS scheme. But the EU remains our largest cultural collaborator: universities and arts centres across the country have invested years in relationships that depend on the single market. The EU - and its legal systems - remain deeply flawed but for our growing cultural hubs, exiting the single market completely would mean shrinking back to square one.”
Kate MaltbyArts and politics writer The Times and Spectator, Fellow Bright Blue.
“The four freedoms of goods, people, capital and services bring Europe together and make us all richer by keeping our economy open to trade and foreign talent. People's jobs depend on a Brexit that keeps us in the single market.”
Garvan Walshe Columnist, Conservative Home
“"The world is watching. As are its investors. By remaining in the single market we can help minimise the presumed risk from internal and external investors, who will be looking at our uncertain economic position with consternation. Risk is the lifeblood of startups and businesses across the country. We must do whatever we can to encourage it."”
Benji LanyadoFounder & CEO, Picfair
“"As a business owner and a consumer I know that the free market means a better deal for everyone, and keeps our country competitive internationally."”
Jazza JohnYouTuber & entrepreneur

Save the Single Market

There are huge opportunities for the UK. We can do trade deals with Canada, India and Japan while maintaining our trading links with Europe to protect existing jobs and ensure economic stability. Saving the Single Market will guarantee opportunities for young people whilst ensuring that decisions that affect us are taken here in the UK.

How does staying in the Single Market compare to being in the EU?


In the EU

In the Single Market

Single market participation

Yes

Yes

Access for financial services

Yes

Yes

Free/low tariff barriers

Yes

Yes

Freedom of movement

Yes

Emergency brake

Saving on EU payment

No

Potentially

Independent veto on global bodies

No

Yes

Can agree independent free trade agreements with other countries

No

Yes

Common Foreign/Defence policy

Partially adopted

Exempt

Justice/Home Affairs policy

Partially adopted

Exempt

European Court of Justice

Subordinate

Exempt*

Charter of Fundamental Rights

Applies

Exempt

Convention of Human Rights

Member

Member

EU Science/Education programmes

Participates

Participates


*though the CJEU indirectly influences EFTA Court on single market operation