Brexit: How we could be in the single market with greater control over immigration – the Adam Smith Institute

The words of President Hollande on Thursday reinforced the UK’s apparent dilemma:

It’s the most crucial point… Britain will have to choose: stay in the single market and accept free movement or have another status.

I have banged on about this since the referendum. There is a halfway house – that of being in the EEA and EFTA.

The Adam Smith Institute have this week released a briefing paper entitled: “The case for the (interim) EEA option“. In it, they point out the ability for the UK to “have greater control over migration” while being in the single market:

The EEA solution comes with an in-built safeguard relating to the internal market freedoms (Article 112) providing the power to curb excessive migration volumes that are having a social, financial or environmental impact. The safeguard could be immediately applied, for instance requiring job offers before employment for jobs paying less than a certain rate of pay, or restricting rights to work in certain areas of the UK. This ensures that the UK would have greater control over the migration flows of EU citizens than as an EU member – a concern for many of those who voted Leave.

You can read the full briefing paper here.

Hat-tip: James Hicklin

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • How do you control immigration from the EEC? There is no magic wand.

  • Has anyone else noticed how Labour’s ‘newbie’ Owen Smith looks like a younger version of Francois Hollande? Are they, by any chance, related? 😉

  • Curbing ‘excessive’ migration does not sound very unlike the Cameron compromise. It seems unlikely to satisfy those who object to immigration. And for this we have given up our seat at the European Council chamber and our right to elect MEPs? What a complete mess the Conservatives have made of this! Every leaflet Lib Dems put out needs to make this point (alongside local and other issues, of course).

  • Eddie Sammon 23rd Jul '16 - 11:24am

    It sounds good but I think Hollande and others have overestimated his power. Why are France now going soft on Russia? Because the French farming lobby complained about the sanctions (partly), why has he had to compromise so much on labour market reforms? Because some trade unions started blockading petrol stations. Why has Uber had such a hard time in France? Because taxi drivers kicked off over it.

    The key to influencing France, in my opinion, is via their agricultural sector, arguably their most powerful lobby and no way will they be happy if France refuses to offer us free trade and then tariffs go into their goods.

  • The remaining members of the EU have watched the referendum and the promises made prior to the vote….
    The main headlines were about immigration, removing our “£350 million” contribution and how punitive restrictions on trade would not forthcoming as such restrictions would not be in the EU’s interests….

    Anyone believing that the EU will let us walk away from contributions, impose OUR limits on free movement and still Free trade on our terms is living in a country ruled by ‘nestless birds’….

    If leaving the gave us anything near our ‘wants’ it would mean the end of the EU…It just won’t happen!

  • Assuming we completely leave the EU which countries will be willing to fill in the UK’s £ 11 billion missing contribution ?

    Or alternatively which countries are prepared to sacrifice pet projects due to the lack of funding due to the lost UK contribution ?

    Deafening silence on both points.

    Reality says that an awful lot of a la carte will be available from the EU ( including immigration controls) for at least a significant chunk of this money.

    It will be called associate membership not to mess up existing EEA /EFTA agreements.

  • I agree with Expats and Clootie. At least I really hope they are on to the crux of all this. It’s important we don’t get into a mindset where we think Brexit is inevitable because it isn’t. The Lib Dem fight back is about stopping it. Also, the 52% needs to reduce, which it will, when people realise what a mess it all is and that they aren’t getting what they wanted.

  • john 24th Jul ’16 – 1:09am…………..Reality says that an awful lot of a la carte will be available from the EU ( including immigration controls) for at least a significant chunk of this money……………It will be called associate membership not to mess up existing EEA /EFTA agreements….

    And, of course, EEA/EFTA will just accept a ‘better deal’ for the UK….Cameron was offered a deal to restrict and phase in EU migrants’ access to in-work benefits for the four years after they first arrived in this country; such a deal might have been negotiable for another few years…We’ll never know, as the offer was withdrawn on ‘Brexit’…However, I notice that now a vague possibility of such a deal is being hailed as a ‘great victory’…..

    The UK would be able to apply the “brake” for an initial seven years. But after the Brexit vote the EU declared the deal null and void.

  • I can see a situation where we offer £5bn annually and very generous EEA migrant quotas in exchange for access to the single market excluding fish and agriculture and an invitation to the top table. It would be very difficult for the EU to turn down the cash as John implies

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