UK court throws out Brexit case for single-market vote

UK court throws out Brexit case for single-market voteLondon court dismissed a legal bid to force parliament to approve any attempt to take Britain out of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the single market as part of its exit from the European Union, Reuters reported on Friday.

The British government welcomed the decision.

The British Influence think-tank had argued that although last June's referendum had resulted in a "leave" vote, it had not been a mandate for the government of Prime Minister Theresa May to take Britain out of the single market.

But the High Court rejected that argument. Judges Clive Lewis and David Lloyd Jones dismissed the case after expressing concerns that there was too much uncertainty about the government’s Brexit strategy to seek votes on specific issues tied to two years of negotiations with the EU. The judges will give their full reasoning later.

Membership of the EEA, which includes the EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, provides preferential access to the single market.

Campaigners for a so-called soft Brexit say continued unfettered access to the single market will be vital for Britain's economic prospects once it leaves the EU. But May said in a speech last month that Britain would leave the single market, although she promised to seek the greatest possible access to European markets.

"We are glad this attempt ... has been dismissed," government spokesman said in a statement.

"As the prime minister has said, we will not be a member of the single market and we will be seeking a broad new partnership with the EU including a bold and ambitious free trade agreement," he added.

The British Influence action was separate from another legal challenge last year that ultimately went against the government and forced it to seek parliamentary approval for triggering the two-year divorce process from the EU.
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