What is the EU single market, and why is it so important to British trade?

The single market is a free trade area across the 28 nations of the European Union. It allows British businesses to trade goods and services without tariffs or paperwork to a market of 500 million consumers. This allows them to grow and create more jobs for your and your family, and competition across the market reduces the cost of your shopping. 
Common regulations across the single market make it easier for businesses to trade across Europe and set good standards for the food and other products you buy for your family. 
The EU is our biggest trading partner – representing almost half of our trade – with one million UK businesses relying on trade with the EU. Being in the single market makes it easier for firms from other EU countries to invest in the UK – £66 million a day (Office for National Statistics). 
Your household is £3,000 a year better off each year because of the additional trade, investment, jobs and growth in the UK that comes from EU membership (Confederation of British Industry). 

Last updated: Feb 18, 2016