Journalist Simon Nixon, Chief European Commentator at the Wall Street Journal and columnist at The Times recently wrote an article entitled ‘Norway option’ is not a long-term answer to the problems posed by Brexit in which he tried to rule out the EFTA/EEA model as an option for the UK after Brexit. Continue reading Response to Simon Nixon→
It is our opinion that the UK should not seek to maintain membership of the EU or its Customs Union (or an approximation of it).
In order to pursue a ‘Global Britain’ strategy, the UK must be free to strike trade deals across the world, free from the Common external tariff (CET) and common commercial policy.
This approach comes with both risks and opportunities.
Potentially, the UK might leave the EU on Friday, 29 March 2019 with no free trade agreements with the EU member states or with any country anywhere in the world and be forced to trade with the rest of the world on WTO (world trade Organisation) terms. Our view is that this would be catastrophic for the UK economy and jobs.
On the other hand, the UK could become a global nexus of free trade, unparalleled anywhere in the world. This would usher in a new era for the UK on the world stage.
Today, in response to the announcement by Labour’s Keir Starmer about the possibility of the UK remaining in the EEA after Brexit; Labour Member of Parliament for Aberavon Stephen Kinnock tweeted the below message:
Journalist Stephen Bush recently wrote an article for the New Statesman in which he criticised those advocating an EFTA-style soft Brexit.
In the article he wrote:
“…the difficult truth is that these countries are, de facto, in the European Union in any meaningful sense. It’s hard to see how, if the United Kingdom continues to be subject to the free movement of people, continues to pay large sums towards the European Union, and continues to have its laws set elsewhere, we have “honoured the referendum result”…”[i]
Its fair to say that many people in the UK (on both sides of the referendum argument) have a pretty simplistic view of how Europe works. They believe that its a binary choice – you are either ‘all in’ – the EU, Single Market, ECJ, Customs Union etc or all out – cutting all ties to ‘Europe’.
In fact, the nature of ‘Europe’ is far more complex.
It doesn’t need to be subject to the ECJ, instead it could dock to the separate, more sovereignty-friendlyEFTA court. It doesn’t need to be part of any EU military force, just retain its membership of NATO. The UK doesn’t need to be in EUROPOL, it can sign a co-operation agreement with that body, and also continue to co-operate with European countries on crime prevention via the UNODC and Interpol.
But what about other forms of European co-operation? There are a galaxy of bodies out there which the UK is *already signed up to* which will allow the UK to co-operate with other European nations.
In a recent article on the POLITICO.EU website it was reported that:
“Brussels is contemplating another way to keep U.K. trade going with the EU after Brexit that would also keep Britain under the EU umbrella — go the way of Norway.
Brussels now has a plan B: The U.K. could temporarily become a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) while both sides transition into their future relationship, a senior Commission official told POLITICO. Continue reading Brussels open to UK rejoining EFTA→
Something has changed within me, something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game.
Too late for second-guessing, Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts, Close my eyes and leap!
It’s time to try, Defying gravity
I think I’ll try, Defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down!”
Wicked the Musical – ‘Defying Gravity’
In a recent report called ‘Can Global Britain Defy Gravity?’, trade experts Samuel Lowe and Grant Lewis have explored some of the issues which will be faced by Britain post-Brexit.
The report is well worth a read, and we urge you to do so before you continue reading.
The key parts of the report are reproduced below:
“…where leavers and remainers disagree is on the potential benefits that FTAs with non-EU countries offer relative to the cost that would be paid by losing membership of the world’s largest and deepest, multi-country single market. The following paper attempts to analyse whether it is indeed possible to offset the costs of losing Single Market (and Customs Union) membership via FTAs with other countries. Continue reading Defying Gravity→