Tag Archives: eea

Reality moves us closer to Europe

As Britain’s nationalist government implodes after transitioning from a self-believer to a true believer at the helm, geopolitical reality has crept up on the political opportunism of the previous administration—and the narrow ideology of its successor.  

Dalliances with distant and divergent America, India, and Australia have proved to be no match for the integrated single European market on our doorstep.  A market of nearly half a billion people even without the United Kingdom, the value provided by the European Economic Area nations in goods, services, capital, and people—its four central pillars—can be seen more clearly now that we have been cut adrift.  The most immediately visible deficiencies are the goods and labour shortages now plaguing the UK.

By contrast, the much-vaunted post-Brexit trade agreements lie mired in the mud.  A deal with India is reported to be on the verge of collapse after Home Secretary Suella Braverman questioned the idea that Indian immigration—a prerequisite of any agreement—would be on the same basis as that recently accorded to Australia and New Zealand.

Tory anti-immigrant sentiment risks scuppering trade and barring badly needed workers as Braverman follows in Priti Patel’s footsteps as another immigration hardliner; despite also being the daughter of non-white, non-European newcomers, and surely aware of the great contributions Indian subcontinent and Ugandan Asian immigrants have made to the UK.

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Norway option, at least in the interim, offers the only sensible route out of this mess

The Conservative party likes to boast that it, combined with our FPTP electoral system, provides strong and stable government.

Well, a fat lot of strength and stability the Tory party and FPTP system have given us in the last two years!

We’ve had two Prime Ministers, Cameron and May, who will have historians squabbling for years as to whether they are the worst or second worst or third worst Prime Ministers in the history of this country!

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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.

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The EFTA/EEA Norway model provides some scope to lessen the pain of Brexit, while increasing control over immigration

One of the legacies of the Leave’s irresponsible, hotch-botched campaign is that, in the public mind, leaving the EU has become inextricably intertwined with leaving the single market and eschewing free movement of goods, services, capital and people. We need to move beyond this binary thinking, which is bordering on the moronic.

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The Swiss Wheeze: the Better Off Out argument that’s full of holes

Swiss CheeseIf only we were Switzerland, eh? That’s the dream of the Better Off Out brigade, who long for its freedom as part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). And it’s a tempting offer: all the benefits of free trade with EU member states, and (if you believe Nigel Farage, Dan Hannan et al) none of the risks.

Except it’s not quite that easy, as The Economist highlighted when it investigated Britain’s options.

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