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.
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?→
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.
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→
Why joining the European Free Trade Association would be better for the UK than EU membership:
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
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.
Brexit vote could trigger European free market ‘chain reaction’, say Swiss and Icelandic MPs
A British exit from the EU could spark a free market “chain reaction” across the continent, encouraging countries such as Denmark and Sweden to take control of their own destiny. Politicians from Switzerland and Iceland’s largest parties claim the UK would be able to stand outside of the EU, dismissing the idea that it could be left isolated as “nonsense”. Rather, Britain could emerge from the EU to enjoy a free-trade only relationship and become more prosperous, they argue. READ MORE