European Free Trade Association

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A debate was held in Westminster Hall on the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In the debate I called for an EEA EFTA Brexit, a deal that can reunite the country and give a voice to the silent majority with a Brexit that lets us take back control and protects jobs, opportunity and prosperity. 

Stephen Kinnock: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way, and he is making a powerful speech. Is it not the case that the European economic area option ticks many of the leave boxes—no European Court of Justice jurisdiction, the ability to control the inward flow of immigration and the ability to strike trade deals with third countries—but also delivers the certainty that business is so desperately calling out for, because it is a well-established, well-understood agreement that has existed since 1993, but with no ever-closer union built into it? Is it not by definition the form of Brexit that ticks the boxes in line with what the vast majority—we might call it the silent majority—of the British people want in this debate?

Stephen Hammond: The hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock) is absolutely right. In terms of my hon. Friends who are Brexiteers—a few of them are in the Chamber today—I was discussing with one of them last night that the EFTA arrangements are something we can build a consensus around in this country. That is a sensible option, suiting both sides of the argument, and I would welcome any of the pragmatic leavers, including a number who advanced this case during the referendum, joining the cause and arguing for EFTA.