Tag Archives: Switzerland

Brexit, EFTA and Mrs Thatcher

Would Mrs Thatcher have backed Brexit?

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.

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Changing views

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

The Case for EFTA

“People in EFTA are more than twice as rich as those in the EU. They also enjoy lower inflation, higher employment, healthier budget surpluses and lower real interest rates. Interestingly, they also export more per head than EU states, selling $16,498 per capita to overseas markets – the highest ratio in the world. 

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EFTA

Since British Euro-philes have always based their argument on economic necessity, EFTA pretty well demolishes their case. Here, after all, is empirical evidence that countries which participate in the European market without subjecting themselves to the associated costs of membership are wealthier than full EU members. 

Nor is this coincidence. The EFTA states have found a way to have their cake while guzzling away at it. They are not identical, of course; each one has struck its own accord with Brussels. In particular, there are important differences between Switzerland, whose relations with the EU are mediated through sixteen sectoral treaties, and the other three, which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA). But some things can be said of all four of them.” 

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http://www.brugesgroup.com/eu/the-case-for-efta.htm?xp=paper

European Chain reaction

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