Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is facing another legal challenge over United Kingdom’s pull-out from the European Union, commonly known as Brexit. The British government is again confronting a battle regarding whether the UK should keep its membership in the single market during Brexit process. According to lawyers, the unpredictability of United Kingdom’s membership of European Economic Area means ministers’ decision of withdrawing Britain from the single market can be stopped.
What is Single Market?
The single market trade agreement is an association that grants different countries some specific trading advantages. The European single market permits all the countries within EU to trade across borders as easily and comfortably as they do within in their countries. No extra charges, tariffs, restrictions, or negotiation are needed to trade with other European countries according to this agreement.
What Lawyers Have to Say:
According to senior lawyers, Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union does not provide for abandoning European Economic Area, EEA, that extends the tariff-free trading of goods of the single market to different countries like Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland. It is their claim that while leaving EU, UK is not withdrawing automatically from the European Single Market.
In January, British Prime Minister Theresa May called upon the EU Supreme Court for a vote on the UK’s ability to secede from EU alone, challenging the European Parliament’s right to the final say on their EEA membership. As the senior judges in the EU Supreme Court ordered, the UK can secede from the EU only after a majority vote from the Members of the European Parliament, MEPs. Government lawyers have been ordered to appeal this decision in the Supreme Court.
Reaction of British Influence
Jonathan Lis, the deputy director of British Influence, considers that there’s a strong possibility that government may act unlawfully by withdrawing UK out of EEA, regarding the Brexit issue. He also thinks that it may be due to the obligation to clarify the matter in the court. Therefore, UK will be submitting a petition for a further judicial review. By writing to Davis Davis, the Brexit Secretary, British Influence is going to have a legal review of the position of government in this matter.
Dominic Raab, a British Conservative politician and a strong supporter of Brexit, however, dismisses the attempts of the lawyers and urges everyone to join the Brexit process to make it a success. He has suggested respecting the result and getting on with it, instead of finding new obstacles that threaten the democratic system of the country.
The Government’s Stance
When Government spokespersons were contacted, they dismissed the legal challenge issue entirely. According to a spokesman, UK has been able to participate in the EEA agreement only because of its membership in the EU, and by leaving the European Union; UK will cease to be a part of EEA automatically. The government is willing to invoke the Article 50 in March, 2017, and appreciate the results of the referendum.
Theoretically, the whole debate and disputation may be resolved by the European Court of Justice. And Theresa May was and is focused on getting the best deal for Britain.