The UK is planned to leave the EU (Brexit) after 2 years of negotiations. Where a 'soft Brexit' would mean the UK leaving the EU but staying part of the EU's single market (as this could be more favourable economically).
What is the EU's stance on letting the UK stay a part of the single market after they have left the EU?
Besides public statements, I'm also interested in statistics and research that would back up that stance.
Perhaps the EU would not allow this as a way of pressuring the UK into staying (as the decision to leave doesn't seem to be legally binding).
The top answer to this question:
Why is the EU wishing to punish the UK instead of listening their detractors and seeking dialogue? [closed]
has some quotes of EU politicians saying the deal with the UK would be a harsh one, punishing the UK. But I wonder if maybe, when it comes to the single market, it might be deemed more beneficial to let the UK stay than to punish them?