Share this article: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

11 October 2017

One of the most critical issues for the Brexit negotiations in relation to trade is whether the UK should remain in the EU Single Market.  The Conservatives claim that the UK will no longer be members of its single market or its customs union by the end of a two-year transitional period, but at his party’s conference, Jeremy Corbyn said a Labour government would strike a deal with the EU that “guarantees unimpeded access to the single market” after Brexit.

We have produced a short, animated video that explains what the Single Market is, how it works and the ways it effects trade, and thereby the economy.  This includes the role of the European Court of Justice. Ultimately, the video explains that there is a trade-off between making your laws independently and cooperating sufficiently to be a part of a bigger market and achieve higher incomes.

Republishing guidelines

The UK Trade Policy Observatory believes in the free flow of information and encourages readers to cite our materials, providing due acknowledgement. For online use, this should be a link to he original resource on the our website. We do not however, publish under a Creative Commons license. This means you CANNOT republish our articles online or in print for free.


  • Tim says:

    This is a brilliant video. What a shame this kind of information was more widely available before the EU referendum. I am quite sure many people who voted for brexit didn’t have anything like even this basic level of understanding of how the Single Market works. 🙁

    I would add though, it’s even more basic than car parts meeting safety regulations consistently. The Single Market means that when a supplier in one country sells jam to a retailer in another country, they can be sure they mean exactly the same thing by “jam”. Which may sound simple, but actually it’s really important to be clear on the details, and it makes trade so much easier. This is a great article explaining the jam example in more detail:

  • anng says:

    The “Jam” definition does not include traditional British Jam. Thus, what I buy is called e.g. “Strawberry Conserve” where the final product has more sugar than fruit. (Traditional recipes have equal quantities of fruit and sugar by weight at the start of manufacture rather than the end.)

    What I don’t want, are artificial preservatives which I expect to be able to read about on the label. This sort of mandatory information is a regulation that I’m glad to have. While I’m very unhappy if I can’t buy traditional jam without articifial preservatives.

    A bonfire of regulations should include all mandatory things such as the maximum wattage of toasters (EU example) which can safely be left to the individual shopper.

  • Tout d’abord bonjour.. Ce post est très
    complet. je souhaitais tout juste des infos a
    ce sujet. Merci et bonne continuation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *