Theresa May’s Speech

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. tmaybrexit

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. 

Thirdly, EFTA has offices in Brussels and has regular meetings with the EU. This would mean we could maintain good relations with the EU – especially as EFTA countries share in programmes like ERASMUS and mutually reciprocal healthcare arrangements.

Fourthly, we could combine EFTA membership with a WTO-only relationship with the EU, or with a Association Agreement, a Free Trade UK-EU agreement, or a DCFTA.

Fifthly, the UK has not had to negotiate new trade deals in decades. EFTA has many experienced trade negotiators who could work on our behalf. tmefta

 Finally, bear in mind that the UK helped create EFTA in the first place. 

 

 

 

 

Whatever our eventual relationship with the EU, we believe that EFTA membership is a vital component of our future external relations. For more details visit http://www.efta.int/

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