<<UPDATED 23/06/2017 with official translation link>>
As reported this week in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,[i] Economic experts from the Federal Government’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs have written a letter[ii] to the German Minister for Economic Affairs Brigitte Zypries, warning about the potentially serious consequences of Brexit.
According to the report, the letter (dated 28th April 2017) says that the process of Brexit poses “risks of unnecessary damage to economic relations”.
The letter (which we have translated to the best of our abilities) makes some interesting suggestions and recommendations.
It states that the 2 year Article 50 period will be too short to conclude a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and so the period should either be extended, or the UK should rejoin EFTA (The European Free Trade Association) as an interim step or as part of a more permanent solution .
Read the letter HERE
Story also discussed here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/19/german-business-leaders-conservatives-tories-rethink-plan-leave-single-market-trade-eu
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
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).
Read the report here:
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.
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
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.
Reuters link to story:
Express link to story:
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.