EFTA Court chief talks Brexit

Earlier this month, an interview with EFTA Court President Carl Baudenbacher was reported on the website http://www.eu-infothek.com/ which we thought was very enlightening and deserved a UK audience – so here are some excerpts. We hope the site (and Prof Baudenbacher) doesn’t mind – if so, please e-mail us and we can take this down.

NOTE: Apologies if this is an imperfect translation – feel free to offer a better one!

Brexit i.e. the departure of Great Britain from the European Union, has officially begun. The EU Information Center spoke with the President of the EFTA Court, Carl Baudenbacher, on various models for the future relations between the UK and the continent:   Continue reading EFTA Court chief talks Brexit

Squaring the Circle

Squaring the circle – the Single Market without free movement?

Can the UK after Brexit retain membership of the European Single Market without free movement (FoM)?

Short answer: No.

Long answer?: – read on…

The UK government white paper of February 2017 setting out its Brexit aims and objectives managed somehow to be simultaneously both clear and opaque:

“The Government will prioritise securing the freest and most frictionless trade possible in goods and services between the UK and the EU.  Continue reading Squaring the Circle

Brussels open to UK rejoining EFTA

In a recent article on the POLITICO.EU website it was reported that:

“Brussels is contemplating another way to keep U.K. trade going with the EU after Brexit that would also keep Britain under the EU umbrella — go the way of Norway. 

Brussels now has a plan B: The U.K. could temporarily become a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) while both sides transition into their future relationship, a senior Commission official told POLITICO.   Continue reading Brussels open to UK rejoining EFTA

Defying Gravity

How to Defy Gravity?

 

 

“I don’t want it – No – I can’t want it Anymore;

Something has changed within me, something is not the same

I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game.

Too late for second-guessing, Too late to go back to sleep

It’s time to trust my instincts, Close my eyes and leap!

It’s time to try, Defying gravity

I think I’ll try, Defying gravity

And you can’t pull me down!”

  • Wicked the Musical – ‘Defying Gravity’

 

In a recent report called ‘Can Global Britain Defy Gravity?’[1], trade experts Samuel Lowe and Grant Lewis have explored some of the issues which will be faced by Britain post-Brexit.

The report is well worth a read, and we urge you to do so before you continue reading.

The key parts of the report are reproduced below:

“…where leavers and remainers disagree is on the potential benefits that FTAs with non-EU countries offer relative to the cost that would be paid by losing membership of the world’s largest and deepest, multi-country single market. The following paper attempts to analyse whether it is indeed possible to offset the costs of losing Single Market (and Customs Union) membership via FTAs with other countries.  Continue reading Defying Gravity

Response to Barnier speech:

EFTA 4 UK response to speech by Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom

In Brussels, on 22 March 2017 Monsieur Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for the EU in relation to Brexit negotiations made a speech which we would like to respond to.

 

Our commentary is in Bold.

____________________________________________________________

 

In the speech he said:

“Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen,  Continue reading Response to Barnier speech:

Westminster Committee urges return to EFTA

07 March 2017

The International Trade Committee’s first report calls on the Government to publish a White Paper about the possibility of the UK re-joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

rejefta

Read the report here: 

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/international-trade-committee/news-parliament-2015/uk-trade-options-beyond-2019-report-published-16-17/

Theresa May’s Speech

The British Prime Minister Theresa May made a speech this week in which she seemed to rule out EEA membership. Does that mean that EFTA cannot feature in the UK’s post-brexit future? We argue the answer is no – it must. tmaybrexit

First off, membership of EFTA means we would be essentially signing a free trade deal with four countries at once. Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. 

Secondly, as members of EFTA, we could apply to join their extensive Free Trade network – Currently, the EFTA States have 27 free trade agreements (covering 38 countries). This would at a stroke secure the UK’s post-brexit trading future.  Continue reading Theresa May’s Speech

A New UK-EU Relationship?

‘A New UK-EU Relationship versus the False Certainty of Brexit Sovereignty’-  Dr Nat O’Connor 

Part of the explanation for the British vote to exit the EU is a reaction to the uncertainty and fast pace of change brought about by globalisation. The calls to ‘take back control’ and for the UK to be fully sovereign are a rhetorical expression of this malaise.pieces

Yet, how many countries are truly sovereign in this idealistic way?

 

Once the government of any territory wants to interact—even in a purely transactional way—with other jurisdictions, there must be some level of co-operation, if not compromise, which represents pooled sovereignty.

Of course, either party can disengage at any moment, but the mutual benefit of trade and other forms of interaction tend to outweigh the costs. And so, while control over many areas of domestic policy is always held internally, the notion of pure “sovereignty” can only be expressed negatively, by the act of disengaging and going it alone. Continue reading A New UK-EU Relationship?