As Leavers we're supposed to vigorously disagree with our opponents. One such opponent is Professor Duncan French writing for europhile blog "The UK in a Changing Europe".
take home point is largely that Brexit is complex, requires a good
deal of compromise, it's not going to be done in a hurry and there
are obvious pitfalls to each approach.
He says "In the event
that the UK were to withdraw from the EU, it would undoubtedly seek a
new arrangement with its largest trading partner. Such an arrangement
may be similar to that which Norway has as a member of the European
Economic Area (EEA), or it may need to be bespoke on the basis that the
UK had been a full member of the EU and its ties more integrated than
those of Norway, which has never been a member. And has often been
remarked, Norway is subject to many of the rules of the EU, without the
benefit of being involved in their negotiation."
We're not going to dwell on his largely baseless assertion
that Norway is not involved in the negotiation of EU rules. Anyone who
wants to try this argument on with us is welcome to humiliate
themselves. What we do note is that the first and most obvious solution
to his mind is in fact the Norway model.
For us, this
is something of a vindication in that from a practical real world
perspective, not only is the Norway model the most sensible, but also
the one our own negotiators would probably arrive at by default given
that they have time constraints and have to work within the political
realities that present themselves. In essence, we have a europhile
academic arriving at the same conclusion we did - the Norway model is
the only game in town if we want to leave the EU.
French expands the point further by saying "European Union law has been integrated into almost
every area of British law; employment, commercial and company law,
health and safety, environmental law, agriculture and fisheries issues
to name but a few. Indeed, in light of the likely formation of some kind of an ongoing
relationship between the UK and the EU after an exit vote, and the
complexity of surgical removal from British law of “EU” elements, if
indeed that was possible – together with having to meet new EU rules to
maintain access to the single market in the future – exit from the EU
would have substantially less legal impact than many might imagine."
in mind this a europhile saying this. What he's saying is is that while
Leavers will have to significantly lower their expectations - very
little would change as far as business is concerned. So he is by
definition confirming that the Norway model is a risk free option.
And in that we would agree. This is why the Norway model is the first choice of interim solutions in our own Brexit plan
where in the first instance, we adopt the entire body of EU law as our
own, using the Norway model as a departure lounge to de-risk Brexit -
and then we take our time disentangling ourselves from the mistakes of
What we do get almost immediately is a
full vote at the global level with right of reservation and a veto, and
all the time in the world to decide which laws we want to keep, with one
of the finest minds on the Europhile side confirming for us that it's a
risk free proposition.
This ought to focus minds on
the Leave side as it is a note of caution to moderate the kind of
promises they make as to what Brexit may achieve in the short to medium
term - but it seems the best minds in the business are agreed that the
Norway model is a safe bet - and thus it follows, the remain side lack
credibility with their ever more risible scaremongering.
adopting the interim Norway model, we clear out and bypass all of the
points of contention, thus we are left with just one argument - the
one of whether Norway has influence in the rule making or not. That
ought to be an argument we can comprehensively win.