The business secretary Sajid Javid will later today call for the European Union to move “further and faster” towards single-market reform.
In a speech at Chatham House, Javid is expected to say the EU needs an “efficient free trade mechanism” to support the UK’s financial services, service sectors, investment, and high-value manufacturing.
It follows a speech earlier in the week where Javid said being a “capitalist should be a badge of honour”.
He is also expected today to “staunchly” defend the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its value to Britain, the first minister in this government to do so.
The TTIP deal has been accused of giving too much power to international corporations, potentially threatening government services such as the NHS, and being negotiated in secret.
Javid will say: “Despite some of the alarmist headlines, it’s not a threat to the NHS. It won’t allow shadowy corporations to ride roughshod over the rule of law.”
The business secretary will also back Britain’s membership of the EU, though only with the “urgent reform”.
He will say: “The EU has the potential to be the greatest, strongest, most successful single market in the world. But only if it actually gets on with the job it was created to do.”
A referendum on whether the UK will remain in the EU has been promised by the government before the end of 2017, though no date has yet been set.
The prime minister is currently trying to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership.