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British Influence says the government is obliged to seek clarification of its position

Mon, Nov 28, 2016, 08:27

Demonstrators at Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters




A British think-tank plans to take legal action over whether the government can take Britain out of the European Economic Area (EEA) and leave the single market as part of its exit from the European Union, the BBC reported on Monday.

The BBC said the group British Influence believed the government could be acting outside the law if it did not get a clear legal opinion as to whether Britain’s membership of the EEA automatically ended along with its membership of the EU.

“We consider that … they have an obligation to seek urgent clarification in the courts. So we are going to be petitioning for a judicial review,” the BBC quoted Jonathan Lis, the deputy director of British Influence, as saying.

A spokeswoman for the government said Britain was only party to the EEA Agreement in its capacity as an EU member state. “Once we leave the European Union we will automatically cease to be a member of the EEA,” the spokeswoman said.