European Economic Area And The Single Market Are Not Synonymous


During the debate on alternatives to a no-deal outcome in negotiations with the EU, I made the point that the European Economic Area (EEA) and the single market are not the same thing.

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon): I congratulate the hon. Lady on securing this debate. One of the common misconceptions is that the EEA and the single market are exactly the same thing. That is not the case. There is no common fisheries policy and no common agricultural policy. The writ of the European Court of Justice does not run to the full EEA; there is the EFTA arbitration court. Articles 112 and 113 of the EEA agreement allow for safeguard clauses suspending things such as free movement of labour. So it is important that in this debate we clarify that the European economic area and the single market are not synonymous.

​Antoinette Sandbach: I entirely concur with the hon. Gentleman. My hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond) is in his place, and in a previous debate he eloquently outlined the benefits of and difference between EEA-EFTA membership and full membership of the European Union.