David Cameron has said that the “Norway option” for the UK’s relationship with the EU post-Brexit is a non-starter.
Norway is a member of European Free Trade Association which with the EU forms the European Economic Area.
It has long been the case that one of the options for the UK post Brexit put forward by some EUphobe Leave campaigners is to join EFTA and therefore have access to the EU markets on the same basis as Norway.
Via the EEA Norway has access to the EU market. As a consequence Norway has to adopt a great deal of EU legislation and is bound by the principles of the four freedoms – goods, services, capital and people. This is often referred to as the Norway “fax democracy” as they little option but to wait until the latest regulations are faxed through from the EU for the Norwegian Parliament to implement.
As well as being bound by the majority of EU legislation Norway also has to make a significant financial contribution to the EU in return for having unfettered access to the EU market. The contribution per Norwegian citizen is around 80-90% of what each UK citizen pays.
The “Norway option” does nothing to address the principle concerns of the EUphobe Leave campaigners: it doesn’t reduce the so-called regulatory burden, does nothing for the freedom of movement concerns they have and makes a small cost reduction in exchange for giving up the influence we currently have in the development of the EU.
It seems the Leave campaigners, or at least some of them, agree-:
“The ‘Norway option’ is not @VoteLeave’s policy nor will it be because a) we can do much better than that & b) we plan to win referendum” in a Tweet from @odysseanproject – the Twitter account linked to Dominic Cummings blog.
This is welcome news, we can all agree that the “Norway solution” is not an option for the UK.
But we are still left wondering what the EUphobe Leave campaigners are planning for the UK in place of the EU.