Britain could retain a temporary Single Market membership in the aftermath of Brexit, according to a member of parliament’s Treasury Select Committee.
Speaking at the Conservative party conference, Chris Philp noted that the US’ still unsigned trade deal with Europe has taken 10 years of negotiations.
“These trade negotiations, even excluding financial services, take an incredibly long time. So we may need some kind of transition arrangements to bridge that gap.
“That might involve continued Single Market membership for that period while we get everything agreed,” Philp said.
The Croydon South MP also demanded more information for businesses on the aims of the UK’s negotiations with the EU.
Philp said Theresa May should publish “heads of terms” for Brexit talks in the form of a list of priorities.
“If we hit the Brexit button without some kind of plan that reassures business in the country there is a risk that they will not only start formulating contingency plans, but also start carrying them out,” Philp said.
“When March comes around we should be in a position to outline how we are going to work with the rest of the EU. So that large financial institutions who might otherwise start thinking about moving staff won’t do it.”
May has repeatedly refused requests to provide details on her goals, claiming it would hinder negotiations, but Philp told City A.M. there was no danger in publishing some information.
“It could be a list of bullet points of what she hopes to achieve,” Philp said. “We don’t have to give away which ones we are more prepared to compromise on.”
Philp was speaking at a fringe event alongside TheCityUK chief executive Miles Celic, who called on the government to ensure “the smoothest transition possible” for the financial services sector.