By Simon Barnett, guest blogger
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.
Daniel Hannan MEP introduces the EFTA 4 UK Initiative:
Will we have any say over the rules?
Critics argue that if we leave and rejoin EFTA we will still “have to obey EU rules”.
Let’s be clear – the EU has very little influence over EFTA states.
The EFTA states are exempt from most of the contentious EU policy areas such as:
- Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies
- Customs Union
- Common Trade Policy
- Common Foreign and Security Policy
- Justice and Home Affairs
- Monetary Union (EMU)
The areas in which the EU does have control are largely those to do with the single market, product standards and regulations. In many cases these rules are simply European interpretations of standards agreed at regional or global standard-setting bodies.
Interesting articles from our friends in Norway: http://www.neitileu.no/articles_in_foreign_languages/nei_til_eu_no_to_the_eu
Please watch and share:
In an echo of the UK’s last referendum on Europe in 1975, 58 per cent polled for think tank the Bruges Group said they would prefer the UK to be part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
According to the Opinium poll, 52 per cent preferred EFTA over EU membership.
An interesting blog about EFTA and the EEA:
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