All posts by admin

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?

Norway open to UK return to EFTA?

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. 

Norway_flag

Reuters link to story: 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-efta-idUKKCN10T1E0

Express link to story:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/701642/Norway-performs-U-turn-over-Brexit-and-hints-it-will-now-WELCOME-Britain-to-EU-trade-club

 

What happens next?

The UK has voted to leave the UK. 

The pollsters are in hiding, the Westminster parties are imploding and the media are asking – what comes next?

We don’t speak for the government or the official leave campaign, but we have some suggestions.

___________________________________________________________

First, some key points that need to be covered:

icelandflag

  •  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?

Brexit, EFTA and Mrs Thatcher

Would Mrs Thatcher have backed Brexit?

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.

that4

Changing views

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