“…the existing machinery that we could most easily adopt is to remain a contracting party to the European Economic Area agreement, as a non-EU contributing member.”
Lord Owen, addressing the House of Lords Debate on the Queen’s Speech, Wednesday 28 June 2017.
Read Lord Owen’s full speech here: QueensSpeech28Jun17
Excerpts: “…Everybody accepts now – the term is ‘implementation period’ – that when we leave the EU, there will have to be a vehicle by which we continue the negotiations. It cannot be Article 50. I believe, and have made clear my view to the Government privately for many months, that the existing machinery that we could most easily adopt is to remain a contracting party to the European Economic Area agreement, as a non-EU contributing member. That is a framework which they and we know – we have been in that same framework ourselves.
“I hope that… that the EU negotiators will see the value of the country and the world knowing, as soon as humanly possible, where we will be for the next four to five years—first in the Article 50 process and then in the EEA. That at least provides a structure to weld together our disagreements and agreements in the interests of Article 8.
“We should remember that there is not just Article 50; there is Article 8 in the treaties, which is about good neighbourliness.”