First there was article 50 and the issue of whether it is for Parliament to authorise the process of leaving the EU – which occupied the Supreme Court last month. Now a similar set of proceedings have been issued arguing that leaving the EU will not automatically mean leaving the European Economic Area and this will have to be done pursuant to s. 127 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. This provides:
Each Contracting Party may withdraw from this Agreement provided it gives at least twelve months’ notice in writing to the other Contracting Parties.
However, article 126 applies the agreement to the territories to which the treaty establishing the European Economic Community is applied and under the conditions laid out under that treaty. It is, therefore, likely to be the case that the UK’s membership of the EEA would terminate automatically on leaving the EU.
Brexit may mean Brexit, whatever that May mean, but it certainly means good money for lawyers.