A Norway template for the UK after Brexit? / Columns / The Foreigner

The Foreigner A Norway template for the UK after Brexit?. COMMENTARY: Norway has been part of the ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ debate from day one. Many pro-Brexit campaigners suggest that Britain should adopt the same model. The Scandinavian country, like other non-EU members Lichtenstein and Iceland, is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) – as are EU countries. Some of Britain’s politicians suggest that this is the best way forward for their country after 23rd June, EU Referendum day. The Daily Telegraph, advocating a ‘Leave’ vote, writes that the Norway model would alleviate the economic risk of Brexit for those who believe that leaving the EU would harm trading and international relations. The UK would automatically discontinue EFTA (European Free Trade Association) membership should the country vote to ‘Leave’, but could re-enter EFTA to join Norway (as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland).

brexit, eu, efta, eea, paywall



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



Columns Article

LATEST:

}

A Norway template for the UK after Brexit?

Published on Monday, 20th June, 2016 at 13:06 under the columns category, by John Price   .
Last Updated on 23rd June 2016 at 08:14.

COMMENTARY: Norway has been part of the ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ debate from day one. Many pro-Brexit campaigners suggest that Britain should adopt the same model.



The Scandinavian country, like other non-EU members Lichtenstein and Iceland, is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) – as are EU countries. Some of Britain’s politicians suggest that this is the best way forward for their country after 23rd June, EU Referendum day.

The Daily Telegraph, advocating a ‘Leave’ vote, writes that the Norway model would alleviate the economic risk of Brexit for those who believe that leaving the EU would harm trading and international relations. The UK would automatically discontinue EFTA (European Free Trade Association) membership should the country vote to ‘Leave’, but could re-enter EFTA to join Norway (as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland).

“EFTA membership would provide a route to access the European Economic Area (EEA), commonly referred to as the European single market. Once inside, the UK would maintain much of its access to its European trading partners,” the article reads.

“This so-called “Norway option” would not be a permanent arrangement. Instead, it would put politicians in a position to negotiate a stronger settlement for the UK in the years to come.”

However, UK Prime Minister David Cameron says that a pro-Brexit vote would leave Britain at a disadvantage because like Norway, they would not be a member of the EU. He also emphasises that leaving the EU would also mean a loss of jobs, weakening of the Pound, and reduced influence in the globalised world.

Norway has no say in Brussels on EU rules – though the Scandinavian country was found to be next-best at implementing EU directives after Malta. And ‘Remain’ campaigners are quick to point out that free trade deals would be agreed by the 28 countries that are members of the EU before going on to be approved by EFTA.

This leaves Norway amongst countries last in line to have a voice regarding crucial trade policies. EEA member Norway does pay to participate in the EU’s inner market, but contributes many hundreds of millions of euros a year towards various cooperation, grant schemes, and programmes.

It is also argued that as a member of the EEA, Norway is only exempt from 55 legal acts, Iceland 349, and Lichtenstein 1,050. Many pro-Brexit campaigners believe the UK has the power and influence to negotiate similar leeway so their voice is as loud as possible.

At the same time, one of Norway’s leading businesswomen, Kristin Skogen Lund of Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, is surprised that Britain is willing to travel the Brexit road.

“The EEA is not just a trading agreement. There are laws, rules and regulations and bureaucracy,” she told the Mail on Sunday. “I just do not understand why you would want to give up full membership to obtain EEA status where you will have to implement the rules without having a say.”

And Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg has said to publication Politico that the UK ‘won’t like’ being out of the Union by adding that her country acts as a ‘lobbyist organisation’ as opposed to a nation of influence in the European scene.

“That type of connection is going to be difficult for Britain, because then Brussels will decide without the Brits being able to participate in the decision-making,” she added.

June 23rd’s vote will change the scene of British politics in the short and long-term, whichever camp wins. A vote to ‘Remain’ means more or less business as usual, while a vote for ‘Leave’ means adopting a Norway model might be one possibility.

In the words of English punk rock band the Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go”?




Published on Monday, 20th June, 2016 at 13:06 under the columns category, by John Price   .
Last updated on 23rd June 2016 at 08:14.

This post has the following tags: brexit, eu, efta, eea, paywall.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!