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Fresh legal battle over UK’s single market membership

28th Nov 16 9:40 am

What happens next for Brexit?

The government is in a new legal battle as to whether the UK can stay inside the single market after leaving the EU.

UK’s European Economic Area (EEA) membership has been left with uncertainty, meaning ministers could be stopped from taking Britain out of the single market.

Lawyers will argue the UK will not leave the EEA automatically when it leaves the EU and Parliament should be able to decide.

The government has said as soon as the UK leaves the EU, EEA membership ends.

The single market allows the tariff-free movement of goods, services, money and people within the EU.

The EEA was set up back in the 1990s. It also extends some of those benefits to non-EU members such as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

If the courts decide to back the legal challenge this means parliament would have the final say over EEA membership, giving MPs the right to vote to ensure Britain stays within the single market until a long-term trading relationship with the EU has been agreed.

Conservative MP and Brexiteer Dominic Raab told the BBC: “Rather than coming up with new legal wheezes to try and frustrate the will of the people, these lawyers should be working with us to make a success of Brexit.”

“The public have spoken; we should respect the result and get on with it, not try to find new hurdles that undermine the democratic process.”

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