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Richard Benyon backs Government's Brexit plans

Theresa May was "absolutely right" says Newbury MP

Chris Ord


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NEWBURY MP Richard Benyon has backed the Prime Minister’s plans to leave the single market and negotiate a new customs union deal as Britain prepares to withdraw from the European Union.

Mr Benyon said Theresa May was “absolutely right” to state the Government’s intentions for Brexit in her address to the nation earlier this week.

However, the Tory MP, who passionately supported the failed Remain campaign in last year’s referendum, said he would “wait and see” how the negotiations developed.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mrs May said a final Brexit deal with the EU will mean the UK leaving the European single market, while also setting out plans to negotiate a new customs union deal.

The single market allows free movement of goods, services, capital and labour across all member states, while the customs union ensures all countries charge the same import duties on goods and services brought into the union.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News yesterday (Wednesday), Mr Benyon said: “I want to see how it all pans out.

“Being part of the customs union or not is not a big issue.

“There are different parts to it which we might or might not be part of.

“I think it was absolutely right to state clearly that if the Government feels that it’s not going to satisfy the four freedoms it’s better to say we will not be part of it.

“We will seek to create a more bespoke settlement.”

The opinion, however, seems to contradict comments made by Mr Benyon last year when, speaking about West Berkshire businesses, he told the NWN: “The best thing for them would be to remain part of the single market, or at least the customs union, so they can continue to trade freely with the world’s largest market.”

Mr Benyon now feels it is possible for the Government to strike a deal that will allow businesses, including those in West Berkshire, to thrive.

He said: “Looking at it through the prism of companies in West Berkshire that do business abroad I think she’s right – we can get a deal, which allows those companies to deal in Europe, but of course business is very complicated.

“There’s a supply chain.

“We have to get a system to allow the complex supply chain to continue.”

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