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Brexit: Negotiations and No-deal Contingency Planning - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:51 pm on 4th September 2018.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 6:51 pm, 4th September 2018

I do not think that the noble Baroness’s analysis is correct. The European Economic Area is an agreement between EFTA countries and EU member states, and our membership of it will lapse when we leave the European Union. In order to join the European Economic Area we would have to become a member of EFTA, we would require the agreement of the EFTA countries and we would then need the agreement of the European Union in order to continue in that membership. That presents a number of legal and practical difficulties—but I would be happy to write to the noble Baroness in more detail about how it might not work.