THE EU is the biggest market for exports of services from the South East.

New figures were released from the Office for National Statistics yesterday.

This highlights the importance to the region of trade with the EU in services, and the dangers of falling out of the Single Market and on to World Trade Organisation rules or a free trade deal which only covers goods trade after Brexit.

The new publication for the first time breaks down services exports by the regions and nations of Great Britain.

These figures make clear that the South East benefits hugely from services trade with the European Union.

This free trade facilitated by our membership of the Single Market is worth over £9 billion to our economy, supporting great numbers of jobs.

It shows that, in 2015, the South East exported £9.3 billion of services to the European Union, more than any other region of Great Britain outside London.

Leaving the Single Market, as the UK Government wants to do, will put much of this trade at risk.

By harmonising regulations, the Single Market does more to boost services trade than any other model.

World Trade Organisation rules, or even a bog-standard free trade deal, simply will not be good enough.

To protect businesses and jobs in our region, the Government must negotiate to keep the UK in the Single Market. Anything less will make the people of the South East worse off.

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove