Parliamentary oversight of negotiations

Part of Informal European Council – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 6th February 2017.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 5:15 pm, 6th February 2017

I could not agree more with my right hon. Friend. That demonstrates the expertise that he acquired when he was a Foreign Office Minister.

Moving on to number three of my five points, new clause 56 refers to our withdrawal from the EEA and tries to make that into a separate argument. We are a member of the EEA as a result of being a member of the EU. Given that the EEA agreement talks about the free movement of goods and persons and means that we are susceptible to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, if we were to remain within the EEA, we would in the view of most members of the public effectively not have left the EU at all—the things that they were concerned about would still be in force. Indeed, things would have got worse because we would have no ability to influence—[Interruption.]