Camden promises to push for ‘strongest possible access’ to EU single market after PM’s Brexit speech

Cllr Sarah Hayward

Cllr Sarah Hayward - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Camden Council’s leader has said the prime minister’s commitment to removing the UK from the EU’s single market is “deeply concerning” – and pledged to push for the “greatest possible access”.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she is committed to ensuring the UK leaves the EU's single market

Prime Minister Theresa May said she is committed to ensuring the UK leaves the EU's single market Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Cllr Sarah Hayward said Camden’s businesses, universities and research organisations have told her it is “vital” to retain membership of the single market, which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people.

Stressing that Camden residents voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, she added: “The confirmation yesterday by the prime minister that the UK will be leaving the single market is [...] deeply concerning for our communities, our economy and our wish to ensure that Camden remains open to business.”

Cllr Hayward explained that Camden’s 29,000 firms constitute up to 2 per cent of the entire UK economy.

She also said it was crucial to guarantee the borough’s workforce since 10pc of its employees are EU nationals.

“Many thousands of EU citizens and people with EU national heritage live in Camden and we want them to continue to feel welcome here and, vitally, we need to keep their skills so Camden continues to thrive,” she said, adding: “The cloud of uncertainty which still remains over their future status must be resolved by the Government without delay.”

A cross-party, member-led Brexit working group has also been established, Cllr Hayward said. It will work to “secure the best possible deal” for Camden.

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The prime minister, Theresa May, said on Tuesday that the UK must leave the EU single market because remaining in it would mean “not leaving the EU at all”.

But she also told the audience she would push for the “freest possible” trade arrangement with European countries.