Ian Rutledge on why we’ll probably end up relying on WTO rules; Stefan Wickham on Norway having their fish and eating them; Michael Gold on the Norwegian left’s opposition to the single market; David Beake on Oslo’s view of its ‘Nike deal’; Neil Addison on joining the EEA as a transitional option
In your Brexit policy editor’s account of the “rapidly emerging consensus” in favour of the “Norway” route to leaving the EU while remaining in the single market via membership of the European Free Trade Association (which allows access to the single market via the European Economic Area agreement), he writes rather glibly about Efta having a “requirement for members to maintain a degree of free movement of people” (It’s hard to ignore the clamour for lite option, 12 June). Let us be absolutely clear: the Norway/Efta/EEA option requires adoption of the four freedoms, including free movement of people, with the implied loss of control over immigration policy.
Let us also remind ourselves of two key political facts. First, there can be no doubt that the vast majority of the 52% of those who voted for Brexit did so because they want to stop the immigration of EU labour into the UK. Second, the Conservative position on Brexit is clear. Our Plan for Britain, setting out the party’s 12 Brexit objectives, states that seeking a free trade agreement with the EU “cannot … mean membership of the EU’s Single Market. That would mean complying with … free movement and other EU rules”.