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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:22 am on 7th February 2018.

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Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk 10:22 am, 7th February 2018

Yes, the principle is there. The powers are there in black and white and they can be used unilaterally. There is simply no way to dispute that.

To return to the hypotheticals, from a Brexiteer point of view, we would want something that gives us visible signs of power back on day one. We would be out of fisheries, which is why Fishing for Leave supports membership of EFTA—it knows that next year, it could get power back for fisheries. We would be out of the common agricultural policy. We would be out of the serfdom of the ECJ and under the EFTA court.

I will finish by referring to the transition. Even as someone who campaigned for remain, I think the Government’s current proposal would mean a vassal transition where we had absolutely no control. To people in the Brexit camp, I say that surely the proposed transition, where we have literally no say in future laws, is far inferior to one where we go into EFTA next April, have powers back, and have the security of staying in the single market. That is the best transition, which would enable us to have a safe harbour to secure our long-term future, as other hon. Members have said.

A range of continental lagers are available, but if Carlsberg did an off-the-shelf, last-minute Brexit deal that pleased everybody, it would probably look an awful lot like EFTA-EEA.