UK-EU trade barriers: Jeremy Hunt admits them but rejects joining the EU


In response to calls for Britain to rejoin the single market, the UK’s finance minister acknowledged that Brexit had created trade barriers but argued that it could overcome most obstacles.

Jeremy Hunt’s comments come amid a growing clamor from the business world for Britain to re-enter the European market that enables free trade via common rules and standards.

Many importers and exporters complain they have been severely hindered by red tape and costs since Brexit, and numerous studies show the economy has suffered.

The morning after he set out a simple budget plan to address the UK’s financial woes, Hunt said, “unfettered trade with our neighbors and countries all over the world is very beneficial to growth” but argued that could happen without rejoining the EU’s trading mechanism.

“I have great confidence that we will find outside the single market, we can remove the vast majority of the trade barriers between us and the EU over the years ahead. It’ll take time, there’s a transition as you deliver something like Brexit, which people have voted for, and we must make a great success of it,” the finance minister told BBC radio.

As far as boosting growth is concerned, that’s not the right solution since it would violate what people voted for when they supported Brexit, which was to control our borders. As membership in the single market requires free movement of people, I believe we can find other ways to compensate for these advantages,” he said, arguing that British innovation offered tremendous growth prospects.

Jeremy Hunt delivered his budget on the same day that the government’s economic forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said Brexit had negatively affected UK trade based on recent evidence.

In contrast, Boris Johnson claimed as prime minister in 2020 that his newly-struck trade deal would bring “no non-tariff barriers to trade” and “let our companies and exporters do even more business with our European friends.” His acknowledgment of numerous obstacles starkly contrasts his admission of multiple barriers.

But despite the growing calls for Britain to rejoin the single market, the main opposition Labour Party is also opposed to the idea.

“There are plenty of things we could do to fix the mess that the government has made with the Brexit deal they got,” said shadow finance minister Rachel Reeves.

For example, our agricultural industry needs a veterinary agreement to facilitate trade, which will also reduce some of the backlogs at the border. But our biggest export is services, while our professional qualifications are not mutually recognized. Our cultural industries are our enormous British strength, and yet our touring artists have to go through so much bureaucracy to be able to tour in Europe,” she told the BBC.

Jeremy Hunt said it would take time to achieve the government’s aim to reduce net migration and improve domestic skills without harming the economy. There have also been calls from leading businesses and the primary employer’s body, the CBI, for tight post-Brexit immigration rules to be loosened to address labor shortages.

Despite our efforts to implement a long-term solution, Hunt acknowledges that migration will become increasingly crucial for the economy in the future.

About the author

Marta Lopez

I am a content writer and I write articles on sports, news, business etc.

By Marta Lopez


Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act
Please contact: with the subject DMCA Request.