Theresa May has vowed silence on the government's position on Single Market membership

Mark Sands
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May said she would not comment on "twists and turns" of EU talks (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed silence on the UK's Brexit negotiations, despite pressure from MPs to clarify the government's stance on Single Market membership.

Addressing the House of Commons today, May said she would not provide commentary on talks with the EU.

“We will not take decisions until we are ready. We will not reveal our hand until we are ready, and we will not provide a running commentary on every twist and turn of the negotiation,” May said.

It came after Downing Street was forced to distance itself from comments made by Brexit secretary David Davis, who deemed it “improbable” the UK could retain single market membership without immigration reform.

However, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson was among the MPs to attack the Prime Minister's stance in parliament, questioning whether May would reveal her hopes for the Single Market at any stage.

“Being a full member of the EU Single Market is not a twist, it is not a turn. It is absolutely fundamental to business across the UK,” Robertson said.

“Does [May] seriously expect to be able to hold out for years in not confirming whether she actually wants the UK to remain a member of the single market?”

Read More: Theresa May moots trade deals with five G20 nations

And former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper also added to the pressure by again asking whether May believed the UK should remain in the Single Market if possible.

“The aim that we have is to get the right deal for the trade of goods and services in the EU. But this will be a new relationship,” May responded.

“We will not be setting out every bit of our negotiating hand. That would be the best way to come out with the worst deal.”

Read More: What now? The UK and the EU Single Market

The pressure came following a wide-ranging statement to the house which saw May confirm that she was optimistic over future trade deals with GCC countries, while adding that China would join in a new G20 forum on market distortions caused by government subsidies.

Cheap Chinese steel has been a contributing factor to Tata's woes at the Port Talbot steelworks, and May said the work would come alongside broader G20 efforts looking at excess global production in heavy industries.

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