Charlotte Leslie – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Charlotte Leslie on 2016-02-23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the effect of a result in favour of leaving the EU at the EU referendum would be on the UK’s membership of the (a) European Economic Area and (b) European Free Trade Area.

Anna Soubry

At the February European Council, the Government negotiated a new settlement, giving the United Kingdom a special status in a reformed European Union. The Government’s position, as set out by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the House on 22 February, is that the UK will be stronger, safer and better off remaining in a reformed EU.

As required by the EU Referendum Act 2015, the Government is committed to producing clear information, ahead of the Referendum, on: the outcome of the renegotiation, rights and obligations in European Union law, the process for leaving and alternatives to membership.

The UK is not a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EFTA is an intergovernmental organisation to which Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are parties. If the UK sought to retain membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) along the lines of the Norway model, all EEA members, including Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, would also need to agree.