European Free Trade Association — [Mike Gapes in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 7th February 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon 9:30 am, 7th February 2018

My hon. Friend has clearly also read the EFTA agreement and arrangements, and he is of course correct. There is no principle of direct effect with EEA-EFTA membership. As he has pointed out, that means that all laws must be approved by domestic legislatures. The UK would participate in drawing up proposed EEA legislation by serving on relevant committees. That is more of an input than is currently planned by the Government for their transition or implementation period—call it what you will. And certainly EFTA would have more of an influence collectively over the process with the United Kingdom as a member. We would regain our seats on global regulatory standard-setting organisations, on which much of EEA law is based, and ultimately we would retain a right of reservation.

This would all be supervised by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA court, not the EU institutions. That would preserve for the Government the red line of avoiding ECJ jurisdiction.