A graphic of Europe, with icons representing the different benefits that the Market brings

Rejoining the Single Market

As an opportunity for a significant economic boost to the UK, the Single Market is the next big leap in our long-term strategy to rejoin the EU. The Market is an opportunity for British businesses, people and institutions to gain access to a whole continent through its Four Freedoms. Rejoining the Market is the first milestone in our long-term strategy to rejoin the EU.

The Single Market has been around for decades, and has supported much growth and development in the UK, by focussing on the promotion of the 'Four Freedoms'.

  • The Freedom of Goods

Through consensus from member states of the EU, the Commission has worked to harmonise regulation of goods across the trading bloc. Working in close cooperation with the Customs Union, the Freedom of Goods has given businesses in the UK the opportunity to import and export goods without border taxes and with minimal red-tape. Since leaving the EU, goods have been more difficult to ship to and from the EU, leading to the farming and logistics industries, in particular, suffering.

  • The Freedom of Services

As the role that services play in European economies has grown, so has the EU's interest in promoting services-based industries. One of the ways they have done that through the Single Market is by ensuring the Freedom of Services, for instance through the Freedom of Establishment (a UK service-provider can provide the service anywhere in the EU). Since leaving the EU, many service providers have found their ability to work on the continent to have been massively hindered, sometimes even banned. Internet providers and the financial services industry have been particularly hit by this.

  • The Freedom of Capital

To be able to freely move capital (cash and other financial items) is a privilege that helps economies grow. Whilst the EU's global openness means that capitla movement will largely still be doable, the key benefit of Single Market membership regarding capital movement is that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between Single Market countries faces less red-tape and thus, countries see more investment. Since leaving the EU, FDI towards the UK has taken a hit, damaging industries across the board

  • The Freedom of Persons

The last of the Four Freedoms, involves giving EU citizens the right to move, live and work in other member states without discrimination. In the EU, this has allowed many industries to flourish: our NHS and farming industries, as well as hospitality and administrative services, all have historically survived and developed as a result of the EU workforce. In the other direction, Freedom of Persons has consistently given opportunities for Brits to travel and live in the whole of the Single Market without restriction, as well as the opportunity to seek out better paid, better suited roles across the continent. Since leaving the EU, not only have businesses suffered due to a lack of workforce, but individuals have been directly hurt too, with many in the creative arts industries not being able to find previously-available work, and many others now being restricted in holidays, business travel or seeing their families.

As we continue campaigning for the Single Market as the next big step towards eventual membership of the EU, we need advocates like you to support us (which you can do here). As our strong Liberal Democrat team raises awareness of pressing issues including the gross mismanagement and misregulation of water companies, the failure of the Conservative government to support our NHS, and disregard of those suffering from the Cost of Living crisis, attention will shift towards how we can resolve some of these failures of government. By boosting business, furthering freedoms and protecting people, joining the Single Market is a major way in the journey to creating a Fair Deal for the United Kingdom. You can find out more about how the Single Market fits into the wider proposal for a Fair Deal at our Liberal Democrat Conference this year: Sign up here, and find out about what LDEG will be up to at Conference here.


EU UK Jigsaw Piece
Rejoining the Single Market

Brits say Rejoin

According to new polling data from YouGov, the most popular option among the public when contemplating the UK's relationship with the EU is rejoining.

7 Jan 2024

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