All but one cabinet member has backed Single Market in the past

Catherine Neilan
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Only Baroness Evans has not gone on the record in supporting Single Market membership (Source: Getty)

All but one of the current cabinet have publically supported the UK's membership of the Single Market, research by Open Britain suggests.

In total, 28 of the 29 ministers including the Prime Minister, foreign secretary, Brexit secretary and international trade secretary have either commended or voted for motions that backed the Single Market in recent years.

Boris Johnson said in 2013 “I’d vote to stay in the Single Market”, while Liam Fox said that “Conservative members believe in the Single Market because we believe profoundly in the importance of free trade and we want Europe to be at the centre of a free-trading world.”

Leader of the house Andrea Leadsom said she supported an “expanded” Single Market, while David Davis described the Single Market as “one of our country’s greatest successes.”

Almost all of the current cabinet voted for a government motion three years ago, which said it is “the government’s view that measures which promote growth and jobs in the EU, including measures towards completing the Single Market, are the top priority.”

In fact, of those attending cabinet, only Baroness Evans, the leader of the House of Lords, has not supported it.

Stephen Dorrell, former Conservative health secretary and chairman of the European Movement UK, said while it was possible that ministers had changed their minds, they must explain why.

“It is not good enough to refer to the referendum," Dorrell said. "If they believe, and this research shows that they do, that leaving the Single Market damages our national interests, they have a democratic duty to say so – and to vote accordingly.

“To do otherwise is to dodge the bullet – and blame the voters.

"If Britain leaves the Single Market, our public services will be worse funded and our living standards will be lower – in plain English we shall all be poorer.”

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