The Case for the Norway Option

September 6, 2018

We may be leaving the EU - but what should our mode of departure look like?

Today we’re joined by the IEA’s Head of Health and Welfare Dr Kristian Niemietz, and Associate Director Kate Andrews - to discuss the pros and cons of the so-called ‘Norway Option’ - a form of Brexit under which the UK would leave the European Customs Union, but remain in the Single Market.

The 'Norway model' refers to two key European organisations: The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and European Economic Area (EEA). Norway (along with Liechtenstein and Iceland) is a member of both.

And the idea has been gaining traction recently, with the government's Chequers model looking unpalatable to EU negotiators, and the British public alike.

Yet although Kristian is a proponent of the Norway option - it’s not as simple as that. He would probably back a Hard Brexit - provided we had a realistic chance of becoming a deregulating, free trading outside of the Single Market.

Unfortunately, here the Zeitgeist is very much against free market types, he argues. 

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