Tag Archives: common market

Norman is right: Common Market 2.0 was the compromise the Lib Dems should have made

I have immense respect for Norman Lamb.

While some of the language he has deployed in the last day and a half has been a little strong for my liking, I sympathise completely with his frustrations.

On Monday night, four Liberal Democrat MPs joined dozens of pro-referendum MPs from other parties in voting down the Brexit option being pushed by Nick Boles, referred to as ‘Common Market 2.0’, or sometimes as ‘Norway plus’. Only two Liberal Democrats – Lamb and former leader Tim Farron – voted in favour of Common Market 2.0.

In so doing, these four Lib Dem MPs spurned the opportunity to win a majority for a Brexit outcome that is 90% of what membership of the EU is.

The Common Market 2.0 plan would maintain Britain’s membership of the single market. It would preserve the four freedoms of that market, including freedom of movement. The plan includes a customs arrangement that would avoid the need for a hard border on the island of Ireland and would allow the UK to continue to benefit from the EU’s trade deals with other countries. The only real drawback to the plan is that it would require the UK to follow single market rules and regulations without having any formal say on how those rules are made.

Common Market 2.0 is inferior to membership of the EU, but not by very much. Moreover, this plan has a chance of bringing our divided nation back together. It gives leave voters what they want, by ensuring the UK leaves the EU, while respecting those of us who voted remain and want to protect our existing rights.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 36 Comments
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