Britain could face international court case over May’s single market plans, experts warn

Posted On: 
12th August 2017

Theresa May’s plans to remove Britain from the single market without giving other countries twelve months notice could result in a legal challenge, the Independent reports.  

Legal experts told the newspaper that other members of the European Economic Area are entitled to twelve months notice if Britain plans to leave.

However, the Prime Minister intends to bypass the formal process, ducking a Commons vote on the issue and leaving the UK open to legal action in the Hague.

Former Treasury legal adviser, Charles Marquand, said: “A failure by the UK to give notice of its intention to leave would, I think, be a breach of the EEA Agreement, which is an international treaty.

“I believe there is a potential for international proceedings. One possibility is the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.”

Heinrich Nemeczek, from the Law Faculty at the University of Basel, said: “This question would certainly have to be decided by a court, or other institution.

“It would, in principle, be possible that the question on the UK’s EEA membership can be brought to the International Court of Justice, or the Permanent Court of Arbitration, as the EEA Agreement is an international agreement.”