The UK cannot access the single market "a la carte" two of the EU's most senior figures have warned

Mark Sands
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Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker have warned that the UK cannot expect single market access after voting to leave the EU (Source: Getty)

Two of the European Union's most senior leaders have warned that Britain should not hope to secure "a la carte" single market access following the first European summit since the Brexit vote.

Twenty-seven European leaders met in Brussels this week to discuss the Brexit vote, and European Council president Donald Tusk said that the group had made it "crystal clear" that single market access requires acceptance of the freedom of movement of people.

Speaking in a press conference after the meeting, Tusk said: "There will be no single market a la carte."

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The message was echoed by Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, who stressed that all of the EU's four freedoms – goods, services, people and capital – must be accepted.

"Those who want to have free access to our internal market, they have to implement the four freedoms without exception and without nuances," Juncker said.

Tusk also maintained that he hoped the UK's withdrawal from the EU would be "orderly", adding that all 27 European leaders stressed their desire to remain united.

However, he conceded the rising popularity of calls for reform: "We also discussed the fact that there are too many people in Europe who are unhappy with the current state of affairs. Many recalled that for decades Europe was bringing hope and that we have a responsibility to return to that."

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