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?→