Brexit: UK economy ‘could not survive’ without EU labour, warns former minister


It comes as Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting her Cabinet at Chequers to map out Brexit talks. A former Tory minister has said it is critical for the British economy that the UK keeps free movement for EU citizens across its borders, as Theresa May gathers her cabinet to discuss Brexit.

Anna Soubry said British businesses “could not survive” without access to the pool of labour from European Union countries and that keeping free movement should be a part of any Brexit deal.

Her comments were made as the Prime Minister hosts a Cabinet meeting at her official country residence Chequers to brainstorm plans for Brexit negotiations with the EU.

She has told her colleagues they must each set out the opportunities that leaving the EU will create in their departments.

It comes amid speculation that Mrs May will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, starting formal Brexit talks, without first putting it to a vote of Parliament.

Asked if she wanted to retain free movement, former Business Minister Ms Soubry told the BBC this morning: “Yes, that is my view.

“I believe in the free movement of labour form the EU. It has benefitted our country, especially business.