Government must not rule out a free trade deal

A new report from the influential Commons Brexit committee has urged the UK Government to consider negotiating continued membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) or joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Scottish Labour for the Single Market co-chair Ian Murray MP said:

“This report shows just how misguided the Tories are by ruling out sensible options for Britain’s future relationship with the EU.
“While the only way to fully protect jobs and the economy is to remain in the EU, if we are to leave then the least-worst option is continued membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.
“This report shows how vital it is that UK businesses are able to continue to trade freely and sell services into our largest market, without additional costs or burdens or a hard border in Northern Ireland.
“Parliament must get a meaningful vote on the deal – not some meaningless ‘take it or leave it’ charade from the Tories.”


Read the committee report here:



The European Economic Area provides for the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the European Single Market. Membership is open to EU member states or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. Three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) are in the EEA. Switzerland has not joined but has a series of bilateral agreements with the EU.

The European Single Market is an agreement between the 28 EU member states and members of the European Economic Area (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland). It allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people.

The Customs Union consists of all 28 member states of the EU, Monaco, and some territories of the UK which are not part of the EU (such as the Channel Islands). Through separate agreements, the EU is in customs unions with Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey, with the exceptions of certain goods. The Customs Union abolishes all internal tariffs on goods and establishes a common external tariff on goods.

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