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European Economic Area: Membership

Question for Department for Exiting the European Union

UIN 57213, tabled on 12 December 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the UK remaining a member of the European Economic Area.

Answered on

20 December 2016

We want to see UK companies having the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the Single Market, and for EU companies to be able to do the same here.

We are currently looking at all the options. To support this work, officials across Government are carrying out a programme of sectoral and regulatory analysis, which will identify the key factors for UK businesses and the labour force that will affect our negotiations with the EU. They are looking in detail at over 50 sectors as well as cross-cutting regulatory issues.

As the UK is party to the EEA agreement only in its capacity as an EU member state, once we leave the European Union the EEA agreement will automatically cease to apply to the UK.The model we are seeking is one unique to the United Kingdom and not an off the shelf solution.