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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
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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.

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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
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