Chancellor confirms UK will leave EU customs union and single market – Telegraph.co.uk

The Chancellor has dismissed speculation the UK could pursue a soft Brexit and remain part of the EU’s customs union and the single market.

There have been rumours that Philip Hammond, who backed the remain camp during last year’s EU referendum, will use Theresa May’s weakened authority following the general election to force the prime minister to water-down her Brexit stance. Last week in Luxembourg, he failed to confirm that Britain would depart the single market despite being was asked twice by reporters whether the country would stay or go.

However, the chancellor has now moved to quash speculation that he would push Mrs May to abandon her plan for a hard Brexit, which she set out in her speech at Lancaster House in January.

“We’re leaving the EU, and because we’re leaving the EU we will be leaving the single market and by, the way, we’ll be leaving the customs union,” Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, in his first interview since the election. “The question is not whether we’re leaving the customs union.

“The question is what do we put in its place in order to deliver the objectives which the prime minister set out in the Lancaster House speech of having no hard land border in Ireland and enabling British goods to flow freely backwards and forwards across the border with the European Union.”

Chancellor confirms UK will leave EU customs union and single market – Telegraph.co.uk