Lincolnshire MP asks PM to “make my day special” and reject EU single market

A Lincolnshire MP has called on the prime minister to make his birthday special by asking her if she is prepared to take the UK out of the European Union single market.

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh celebrated his 66th birthday by challenging Prime Minister Theresa May to consider a free trade deal with Europe instead of membership of the single market.

A jovial Leigh said that he agreed with the new prime minister that Brexit means Brexit – to much laughter and cheering from the Conservative benches.

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh at PMQs on July 20

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh at PMQs on July 20

He said: “We’re leaving the EU and we’re going to make a success of it. So will the prime minister make my day special by saying she is prepared to reject staying in the single regulated market and offering instead to our friends in Europe a free trade deal very much in their interests?

“Let’s take back control.”

May, appearing in her first PMQs since becoming prime minister, did not commit to any decisions in front of the House of Commons.

Watching the new prime minister with keen interest was the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, hardliner David Davis, and Secretary of State for International Trade and fellow Eurosceptic, Liam Fox.

Liam Fox (left) and David Davis (right)

Liam Fox (left) and David Davis (right)

May said: “I’m very clear that Brexit does mean Brexit. As he says, we will make a success of it.

“What we need to do in negotiating the deal is to ensure that we listen to what people have said about the need for controls on free movement.

“But we also negotiate the right deal, and the best deal, of trade in the goods and services for the British people.”