EU budget contributions not a 'red line' for Brexit negotiations - leading Leave MP

Posted On: 
16th October 2016

The UK could continue to pay money into EU single market institutions after Brexit in order to improve access for British companies, one of the leading voices in the Leave campaign has indicated.

Gisela Stuart and Boris Johnson campaigning for Brexit while eating ice cream
Credit: 
PA Images

Gisela Stuart, the Labour MP who chaired Vote Leave, declined to say ending budget contributions to the EU would be a red line for her in the upcoming negotiations on Brexit.

The acknowledgement comes despite the fact Vote Leave made the apparent £350m a week that the UK sends to the EU a central part of its campaign.

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Asked on ITV’s Peston on Sunday whether she would countenance the idea of continued payments to the single market, she replied: “As long as you can break the automaticity. At the moment the single market means the four freedoms and you have no options; same with the budget: it’s an overall budget and that is it.”

She went on to suggest continued payments were unlikely, however.

“It would have to be for something which the British people overall think is worthwhile because it was that fact that you didn’t have control over those mechanisms which I think was the basic element,” she said.  

“Now, I find it quite difficult to see a settlement where that would be our best deal.”

Ms Stuart went on to deny she had promoted the idea the UK pays the EU £350m a week – even though it was plastered on the side of Vote Leave’s battle bus.

“We said that’s the money we lost control over,” she said.

That drew a curt response from pro-Remain Tory MP Anna Soubry, who tweeted: