Several sources told the BBC that if the government decided to pay into the EU budget in return for barrier-free access, they would reluctantly consider making a contribution.
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It would be politically unpalatable to continue making payments to the EU and would add extra expense for business.
The finance sector has also downplayed the option. But industry sources said that while any extra cost would make the UK less competitive, losing frictionless market access to the world’s largest trading block – or having to fragment their operations throughout Europe – could be worse.
“We’d have to look at the detail, but it’s possible,” said one insider.
“We would look to support the UK government in negotiations and if part of that meant some sort of financial contribution we’d consider it,” said another.
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