If the government didn’t have enough of a fight on their hands with the Article 50 challenge, they do now. Another legal battle is brewing with the pro single market think tank ‘British Influence’ indicating their intention to seek a judicial review of the government’s position; to leave the single market while exiting the EU.
Battle lines have been drawn with the government asserting that the membership of the EEA ends when the UK cuts its European ties. British Influence, on the other hand, claim that the only way to leave the EEA (and by effect the single market) is by triggering Article 127; opening the door to another parliamentary debate where MP’s could keep the UK within the single market for the immediate future. The question for the courts to answer: is the UK a member of the EEA in its own right, or because of its EU membership?
A successful legal challenge could be a blessing in disguise for the government. If the UK failed to achieve a good exit deal and looked set to roll off the economic cliff edge, considerable stability could be achieved by staying within the single market post Brexit.
The government is facing a legal battle over whether the UK stays inside the single market after it has left the EU, the BBC has learned. Lawyers say uncertainty over the UK's European Economic Area membership means ministers could be stopped from taking Britain out of the single market. They will argue the UK will not leave the EEA automatically when it leaves the EU and Parliament should decide.