Brexit: UK govt faces new legal challenge over single market

British PM Theresa May (R) greets Polish PM Beata Szydlo, who yesterday called for a Brexit “compromise”. Pic/AFPBritish PM Theresa May (R) greets Polish PM Beata Szydlo, who yesterday called for a Brexit “compromise”. Pic/AFP

London: British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face a new legal battle over whether the UK stays or leaves the European single market, the second legal challenge faced by the government over the Brexit process.

British Influence, a pro-EU think tank, is demanding a judicial review into the UK government’s assumption that membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) ends when the country leaves the European Union (EU).

Its lawyers claim the UK will not leave the European single market when it leaves the EU and that the UK Parliament should decide on it.

“There is a chance that the UK will be acting unlawfully by taking us out of the EEA . We consider that they have an obligation to seek urgent clarification in courts. So we are going to be petitioning for a judicial review,” said Jonathan Lis, deputy director for British Influence.

British Influence said yesterday it is writing to Brexit Secretary David Davis to inform him that it will seek a formal judicial review.

Market talk
The European single market is a trade agreement that allows different countries within the EU to trade across borders as easily as they can within their own country, with no extra tariffs. There is a view which claims that Article 50, which deals with a country’s exit from the EU, does not provide for leaving the EEA, which extends the single market’s tariff-free trade in goods to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which are not full members of the EU.

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