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Iran Press TV

UK unlikely to be able to stay in single market: Secret memo

Iran Press TV

Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:16PM

The United Kingdom is unlikely to be able to stay in the single market after it leaves the European Union, suggests a secret memo carried by a senior Conservative party aide.

Britain would be "loath" to introduce "transitional" controls in order to enable London to have access to the single market following Brexit, indicates the note photographed in Whitehall in the arms of the chief of staff to Mark Field, the vice-chairman of the Conservative party.

The UK government seeks to "have cake and eat it," but this would not be easy considering the attitudes of the French negotiation team, according to the note carried by the official as he left a meeting at the Department for Exiting the European Union on Monday.

Also, the document said that the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal process for starting Brexit, was likely to be "difficult".

According to the memo, the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, "wanted to see what the deal looks like first," but the government is reluctant to provide details.

The note comes as the government is already facing a new legal action over whether it has the right to take the UK out of the single market.

British Influence, a think tank, has filed the lawsuit, arguing that the uncertainty surrounding the UK's membership in the European Economic Area (EEA) means that there is a chance to prevent the government from leaving the single market, BBC reported on Monday.

According to the group's lawyers, leaving the EU does not automatically end Britain's membership in the EEA and it would be up to the UK Parliament to decide.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to begin the Brexit process in March and complete it by 2019. However, those plans were delayed when the UK High Court required a parliamentary vote for triggering Article 50.

If the Article 127 of the EEA goes to the parliament, it is likely to divide the lawmakers and break the small majority that supports Brexit.

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