David Davis: MPs ‘likely’ to get vote on leaving single market

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David Davis said it is “quite likely” MPs will vote on whether the UK should leave the European single market.

The Brexit Secretary was repeatedly pushed by Labour MPs over whether a vote will take place in Parliament to repeal the European Economic Area Act 1993 which enshrines UK membership of the European Economic Area into domestic law.

Brexit Secretary David Davis. Picture: PA

Brexit Secretary David Davis. Picture: PA

He said: “Depending on what the policy decision is I would think it was quite likely to come to the parliament.”

Labour former shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander raised the issue of the EEA Act as Mr Davis explained to MPs how the Government intends to convert EU law into UK law.

She said: “Despite Government protestations to the contrary, leaving the EU doesn’t automatically and necessarily mean leaving the single market.

“Equally, leaving the treaty of the European Union doesn’t automatically and necessarily mean leaving the European Economic Area Agreement.

“Will your so-called repeal bill repeal the EEA Act of 1993 and will every member of this House get a specific vote on that specific issue?”

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Mr Davis replied: “I have rarely heard a question based on so many false premises.

“The truth is leaving the European Union does I’m afraid involve leaving the single market because the single market requires as a part of it the four freedoms and whatever you think about the vote last year, it was clearly not a vote in favour of allowing the control of migration, the control of laws and indeed the operation of the European Court of Justice to stay in Europe.”

Labour former Scottish secretary Ian Murray tried again and asked: “The Secretary of State consistently ignores my honourable friend from Lewisham East (Ms Alexander) on a perfectly legitimate point about article 127 of the 1993 EEA Act which says that the UK Government has to give 12 months’ notice to remove itself from the EEA so how will that be dealt with in the Great Repeal Bill or has the Secretary of State simply forgotten about it?”

Mr Davis replied: “No, but it’s not a matter for the Great Repeal Bill.”

Kevin Brennan, Labour MP for Cardiff West, then pushed Mr Davis to confirm that a vote to repeal the EEA Act will take place.

He said: “So from what the Secretary of State just said the EEA won’t be featured in the Bill.

“Can you confirm to the House then that there is going to be a separate vote in Parliament in relation to the EEA?”

Mr Davis said: “Depending on what the policy decision is I would think it was quite likely to come to the parliament.”