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.
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.
‘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.
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?→
Over the last few days, we have read several media reports that say Norway may be softening her views on a possible British return to EFTA. Readers of this page will know that three out of the four current member countries of EFTA have expressed an interest in the UK returning to the Bloc, with Norway as the exception.
We hope that these reports are accurate and that the British Prime Minister begins informal talks with the EFTA countries as soon as possible, hopefully with formal talks to begin shortly after.
The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign affairs has recently put out a press release, saying:
“During its meeting earlier today the Government of Iceland discussed the results of the British referendum on European Union membership and UK’s decision to leave the EU. Continue reading What happens next?→
During the course of the EU referendum campaign, both sides have claimed that the former British Prime Minister, the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher would have supported their campaign.
The ‘Remain’ campaign say that it is clear that Mrs Thatcher would be pro-remain. They cite three main points – firstly, that Mrs Thatcher campaigned on the ‘remain’ side in the EEC referendum of 1975.
Secondly, that while in office, Mrs Thatcher signed the Single European act, a treaty that substantially moved forward the process of European integration and regulation.
Thirdly, they say that if alive today the former Prime Minister would have made a hard-headed decision to remain based on trade and other economic factors.
In this short essay we will attempt to address each of these issues and detail, with annotations and citations why we believe beyond doubt that Mrs Thatcher would not only would vote for Brexit today, but would be actively campaigning for it.
Mrs Thatcher’s views on ‘Europe’ (by which we mean the EC, EEC and later the EU) can be described in terms of four broad phases:
Phase one – her views before she became Prime Minister, Phase two – her views on Europe during the height of her powers as Prime Minister, phase three – her views towards the end of her premiership; finally, her views after the EEC became the EU after the Maastricht Treaty was enacted. Continue reading Brexit, EFTA and Mrs Thatcher→
As a small child, so small I no longer remember the specifics of the question, I asked my father about immigration. While I can no longer recall the question, his answer will remain with me forever.
“Anyone who wants to come and work, pay taxes and raise their children is as British as you or I.”
And that small child grew up into the sort of person who knows the SECOND verse of the Marseilles. The sort who secretly listens to French pop music. The type of person who always has enough Euros in his wallet to grab a pack of Galois, an expresso and a copy of the IHT wherever he has ended up. And the where has included living and working across Europe and beyond. Therefore, the principle of free movement of workers – if not the implementation – is something for which I am passionate advocate.
Consequently, people are often surprised by my opposition to the EU. “But you love Europe”, they exclaim. “It will still be there after we leave the EU”, I respond.
Effectively there are two clubs that can play in the single market I explain. The European Union is the club for countries that plan to federate.
The European Free Trade Association is the trade bloc-alternative for European states who are unwilling to join the federation.
If we do not plan to federate I argue, we should be in the latter.