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CBI: Ruling out Single Market membership 'changes the landscape'

Theresa May's decision to rule out membership of the Single Market has "changed the landscape" for British businesses, the CBI has said.

In a major speech setting out her plans for Brexit, the Prime Minister said the UK "cannot possibly" remain in the Single Market because it would mean "not leaving the EU at all".

However, she pledged to pursue the "freest possible trade" with both European nations and others around the world.

May also confirmed that parliament will vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and EU.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said the decision to take the Single Market off the negotiating table "has reduced options for maintaining a barrier-free trading relationship between the UK and the EU".

However, she added, businesses will welcome the Prime Minister's ambition to create "a more prosperous, open and global Britain".

"The pressure is now on to deliver these objectives and achieve a smooth and orderly exit," Fairbairn said.

"Businesses want to make a success of Brexit but will be concerned about falling back on damaging WTO rules.

"They stand ready to support the negotiations to get the best possible deal for the UK by ensuring that the economic case is heard loud and clear."

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