This speech follows up on ideas that have surfaced concerning the possibility that the United Kingdom might consider joining the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) or make another similar agreement with the EU. Proceeding on that basis, this talk will draw up the main legal differences that the United Kingdom would face following its exit from the EU and accession to the EEA Agreement. The speech assumes knowledge of EU law and, therefore, focuses on the subtle differences that EEA law entails as compared to EU membership. After a brief introduction of the EEA Agreement, a closer look is taken at the specific differences between the EU and the EEA, particularly with regard to (1) the scope of EEA law as opposed to EU law, (2) the issue whether the principles of direct effect, primacy and state liability apply in EEA law, (3) thoughts on the influence that the EFTA/EEA States might have on the development of EU law and, finally, (4) whether there are any differences concerning the four freedoms in EEA law, particularly with regard to the free movement of people and issues concerning the operations of banks and financial markets. No view will, however, be expressed on the political question of what the United Kingdom should do in terms of BREXIT.


Páll Hreinsson was born on 20 February 1963, in Reykjavík, Iceland. He holds a law degree from the University of Iceland where he later obtained the Doctor Juris degree. He has also studied law at the University of Copenhagen. Currently, he is on leave from his duties as Judge at the Supreme Court of Iceland, while he serves as Judge at the EFTA Court in Luxembourg. Before that he held several positions. For example, he was professor of law at the University of Iceland and later Dean of its Faculty of Law. He has published widely within the fields of administrative law, constitutional law, the law of obligations and EU/EEA law. 


A sandwich lunch will be available from 12.30.