In the article published under your name in The Independent on 22 March 2019, you called for Article 50 to be revoked, stating: ‘It was possible for the prime minister to secure a Brexit deal that protected our jobs, economy and the rights of EU citizens in the UK while respecting the outcome of the referendum. Britain could have left the institutions of the European Union while remaining in both the customs union and the single market.’ This position is intellectually incoherent, because it champions the interests of big business over the hard-pressed consumer. Added to which, the EU’s customs union is a protectionist mechanism, which shields large businesses from overseas competition. Although many tariffs are low, this is not the case for sectors such as food, clothing, footwear and cars. As a result, prices for consumers are a lot higher than they should be. Companies have little incentive to invest in improving productivity (which in turn limits wage increases), whilst poorer countries can find themselves effectively frozen out of EU markets. Being in the customs union after we have left the EU would leave us in the same situation as Turkey – having to accept whatever tariffs the EU decide on, whilst having no say in trade negotiations. Even worse, when the EU strikes a future new trade deal with a third country, such as India or Argentina, we would be bound to accept zero tariffs on imports from that country, but with no obligation on them to drop tariffs on UK exports. On what basis have you concluded that staying in the customs union and the single market honours the decision of the British People to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016?