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Europe, UK deal over Britain’s access to single market on the cards

Only countries which allow free movement of people across Europe are allowed access to that market.

Picture: AFP.

LONDON - There are growing signs that a deal between Europe and the UK over Britain's access to the single market will be possible.

Currently, only countries which allow the free movement of people across Europe are allowed access to the continent's single market - a major sticking point in negotiations over trade now that the UK is to leave the EU.

Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the UK would not be allowed to cherry pick the advantages of being in the EU without agreeing to certain conditions.

Allowing the free movement of people, that means anyone in Europe can live and work in any European country, has always been inextricably linked with being part of the single trading market.

Although immigration is a key concern in the UK, many companies based in Britain say they need access to the single market or would relocate.

Now the French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, has conceded everything is up for discussion including immigration adding, "Brexit has made waves."

He said, "We must calm the waves."