Next Steps in Leaving the European Union: 10th October 2016

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
May I make it very clear that, like everybody on the Government Benches, I was elected on a clear manifesto promise to respect and honour the referendum result? We know that we will leave the European Union, but the comments of the director general of the CBI should cause us all much concern. She has confirmed the fears of many on these Benches that there is a danger that this Government appear to be turning their back on the single market and not valuing the real benefit of migrant workers. Can my right hon. Friend now give assurances to British business that we have not turned our back on the single market and that we welcome migrant workers to this country?

Mr Davis
My right hon. Friend was, if I remember correctly, at the Conservative party conference, and she may have heard what I said there. There were two things that relate to this. One is that the single market is one description of the way the European Union operates, but there are plenty of people who have access to the single market, some of them tariff-free, who make a great success of that access, and it is that success that we are aiming for.

The other point I made was that the global competition for talent is something that we must engage in. If we are going to win the global competition in economic terms, we must engage in the global competition for talent. We are entirely determined to do that, but that does not mean, and it is not the same as, having no control of immigration. They are very different issues. We will be going for global talent and we will be going for the best market access we can obtain.