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Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 

EU on brink of backing down over single market membership after Brexit

EU on brink of backing down over single market membership after Brexit

Brussels, 9 August 2018 (MIA) - European leaders are ready to make a major concession to Theresa May by allowing Britain to remain in the single market for goods while opting out of the free movement of people.

Some member states have said they could abandon one of the European Commission's negotiating red lines in return for more concessions from their British counterparts, the Times reported.

In return for allowing Britain to retain single market for goods membership, they would demand that Theresa May replicate all environmental, social, and customs rules in addition to those set out in her so-called Chequers proposals.

The potential trade-off will be discussed at a special meeting of all 28 leaders in Salzburg next month.

It marks the first major divergence between the European Council — made up of leaders from member states — and the European Commission.

The Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has indicated that he would oppose British attempts to retain single market for goods membership, warning it would "undermine our single market" and represent an attempt to "cherry-pick" the best parts of the EU.

But British officials say that Crown dependencies like Jersey already have a third-country status except for goods, meaning the so-called "Jersey model" has worked in practice for years.

Sources negotiating between EU member states in Brussels said that European leaders would be willing to consider British proposals to remain in the single market for goods if she adopted all future EU environmental and social protections. lk/16:12

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