UK to pursue ambitious trade deal with EU, Theresa May tells cabinet

No 10 says final cabinet meeting of year did not directly address EU negotiator’s warning that UK will not get bespoke deal

Theresa May has told her cabinet she aims to pursue a bespoke trade deal that is “significantly more ambitious” than the EU’s deal with Canada, in the first formal discussion ministers have held about goals for the “end state” of the Brexit negotiations.

Downing Street said the meeting was “good, clear and detailed”. It said ministers agreed they would not seek a deal to keep the UK in the single market, such as through membership of the European Economic Area, calling it “democratically unsustainable” because it would mean automatically adopting EU rules without a vote.

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