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While triggering Article 127 of the EEA may be formally required if the EU or a named member state wishes to leave, it appears to me that the UK is only a member by virtue of its EU membership. Why else would the Treaty so explicitly name the member states and territories which are party to the Treaty? And if the UK wishes to discontinue participation in one of the Four Freedoms, why would it wish to remain a member in any case?

Treaties don't generally explicitly name all the states and territories to which they don't apply, so the absence of a specific statement that the Treaty doesn't apply to every other state or territories doesn't imply that it does, or can.

Of course there is no reason why EEA members couldn't voluntarily continue to consider the UK a member post Brexit, but the Treaty certainly doesn't require that they must. Given the EU has consistently insisted that the Four Freedoms are indivisible, it is very unclear why they would wish to do so.

So in summary, it appears you are grasping at a straw no one has shown any interest in pursuing!

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 29th, 2016 at 09:32:23 PM EST
The UK is not member of the EEA solely because of its EU membership. The UK is an individual signatory to the Agreement.

In your last paragraph you appear to imply that the other members of the Agreement can expel the UK from the EEA. No such provision exists in the Agreement. There is however a procedure to temporarily suspend a member (Article 102) in case it fails to implement the required legislation. As long as the UK complies with its obligations it can not be suspended this way. I expect the ultimate decision on EEA membership to come up to the European Court.

I follow the British media at some distance, but close enough to understand that membership of the EEA remains an hot topic. The Government itself has vented the desire for a "transition period" during which it would remain in the EEA.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Wed Nov 30th, 2016 at 08:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All EU members have to separately and independently ratify any external Treaty or trade deal the EU agrees to, but that doesn't necessarily make them independent parties to that agreement. The UK isn't named as a member of the EEA even though it is a signatory of it, so you have to ask the question; in what capacity did the UK sign it - as a member of the EU, or as an independent member of the EEA in it's own right?  And if the latter, why isn't it explicitly named as a member?

Clearly the EEA agreement didn't envisage or provide for a situation where the UK might leave the EU, so we are on virgin territory here.  I don't see a problem if every member agrees to the UK remaining within the EEA, but if some want it in, and others don't, then the matter could end up being determined by the ECJ or whatever the relevant legal authority is.  But if the UK has no representation on the EEA Council, why would it want to remain in? It would have less say on matters effecting it than Liechtenstein.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 30th, 2016 at 06:13:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so you have to ask the question; in what capacity did the UK sign it - as a member of the EU, or as an independent member of the EEA in it's own right?

Yes, this another way of synthesising the issue. The UK is directly identified as a "Contracting Party" in the Agreement, independent of the EC (this is different from a ratification). My impression is therefore that indeed it is an independent member of EEA. But I agree this is likely to end up with the ECJ.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Wed Nov 30th, 2016 at 08:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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