Yes, the EFTA Agreement does not oblige the EFTA States to conclude preferential trade agreements as a group. They retain the full right to conclude bilateral agreements with third countries. (-2) The four freedoms, including free movement (Articles 1 and 28 of the EEA). This would allow the UK to fully participate in the EU`s internal market, with the current exception (agriculture and fisheries), while it is not part of the EU customs union and can therefore conclude its own bilateral trade agreements. The mandate provides for the Commission to monitor Switzerland`s application of bilateral agreements. A maximum period will be imposed on Switzerland for the implementation of new laws. It also states that the Commission should have ”powers of investigation and decision” which should ”reflect” the Commission`s competences over EU Member States in relation to internal market surveillance. The mandate proposes that the Court of Justice of the European Union should have jurisdiction and that either the EU or Switzerland should be able to refer the matter to the Court of Justice ”without the prior consent of the other party”. The Tribunal`s decisions should be ”legally binding on both parties”. The mandate proposes a procedure for the EU to denounce agreements if Switzerland violates them. It is also stated that there will be no more agreements on Switzerland`s continued access to the internal market before the conclusion of the new institutional agreement.
80.At, the autonomy of non-EEA countries is limited and Dr Holmes said they ”would not be free to sign a free trade agreement on non-tariff elements”. For example, a non-EU EEA country could ”reduce to zero all its tariffs on Chinese products,” but it ”would not be able to relax the conditions under which Chinese goods or goods could be imported.”115 IFS noted that ”few [EFTA] trade agreements significantly allow trade in services” and that many ”are not very far from including the rules of the General Agreement on trade in services” (Finally, although the EFTA Agreement between the United Kingdom and the EEA does not mention it, the United Kingdom`s relations with these countries have an impact on its possible accession to the 2007 Lugano Agreement on jurisdiction over cross-border civil and commercial disputes. Especially since Iceland and Norway could theoretically veto the UK`s accession. Can EFTA States also sign bilateral free trade agreements? The government has expressed the wish to accede to the convention, but this requires the agreement of all existing signatories: the EU, Denmark (which has an opt-out in this area and is a full signatory), Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. . . .