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Brexit panel recommends joining Free Trade group

By Dan O'Donoghue

The influential Commons Brexit committee has called on the Government to consider negotiating continued membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) or joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) after Brexit.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has previously ruled out both options. However the cross-party committee, in its report on the future UK-EU relationship, recommended that if negotiations on a "deep and special partnership" proved unsuccessful, EEA/EFTA membership should "remain an alternative".

The recommendation caused splits in the committee, with Tory Brexiteers led by Jacob Rees-Mogg voting against its inclusion. The committee's Brexiteers also voted against the report in its entirety, but were defeated 10-6.

In addition to the recommendation, the committee also set down 15 "key tests" for the Government's final deal with the EU to pass, one of which is keeping an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Belfast Telegraph

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