ITV’s Robert Peston is reporting that Theresa May will unleash “commercial war” on the EU if it does not accept the UK government’s claims it is entitled to a bespoke arrangement that no other EU member has when it comes to staying in the EU Customs Union and accessing the Single Market.


On the morning after the referendum, we warned that “we face a #brexit agenda that is impossible to implement”. Never has that been truer. May will not be able to reconcile the promise for the UK to negotiate its own trade deals, without disrupting trade for British companies in dealing with the UK’s largest trade partner by far – the EU.

Neither will she will not be able to obtain access to the EU’s single market without accepting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Nor will she be able to get a better deal with the EU than the UK’s current membership deal.

The tactic can only be to pretend the UK’s nonsensical demands to the remaining EU27 countries are “reasonable” and cast them in a villainous light when they point out to the contrary.

We want you to be on guard for this kind of media obfuscation in the coming days, weeks and months after May makes her speech. As the UK’s outgoing ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, made clear in his resignation letter, ‘muddled thinking’ is pervasive on this topic, and we all – you included – have a duty to “speak truth to power“.