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EFTA as an alternative

Sometimes in life it is not enough just to achieve a goal or objective, for whenever you get there, wherever there is, inevitably there is more to do. Certainly, that is the case today for UKIP as a party.

We had the vision and carried the argument to persuade the people of this country to leave the European Union, but the job is not complete and requires our participation again. We must now offer a tangible and workable alternative to the EU which must appeal to both Brexiters and remoaners. We must fill the void of confusion which exists now at Westminster and the political parties who are turning the leaving process into a farce.

The Tories clearly have no idea about how to exit the EU, with Labour now calling for UK to remain not only in the single market but also the custom union and the Lib Dems wanting to reverse the referendum result.

On reflection as a committed UKIP supporter and anti-EU activist it has become apparent to me that we as a party should suggest an alternative way forward, with conviction and with a cohesive argument.

My view is that we should embrace membership of EFTA (European Free Trade Association) until the UK has paid what it dutifully owes the EU; at the same time, our country develops into its new role in the world.  EFTA would allow the UK to make its own trade agreements and laws, control immigration while at the same time still getting the benefits of the EU (single market) without being forced to accept everything else we despise about the EU.

The following is from the EFTA website;

The Association is responsible for the management of:

EFTA membership pretty much ticks all the boxes for every argument surrounding Brexit, if we join EFTA we not only keep access the single market but also benefit from the 24 trade agreements with 38 countries across the world which EFTA have in place, these include some significant countries and economies, many from within the Commonwealth.

Additionally, Norway for example actively participates in the decision processes within the EU, it does not have a vote in Brussels but it does have a veto in its own parliament. Incidentally only about a third of EU directives and rules are applied to EFTA members, and they apply only to those businesses that trade with the EU directly.

Sure, free movement of people apply, but I am convinced that we will continue to let EU citizens in for years to come given what Labour/Lib Dems/Greens etc want, and many of our businesses are asking for. But that is manageable given EFTA countries can put restrictions in place over which state benefits are applied to citizens from other country.

We will get less European migrants arriving here for work going forward anyway, simply because the pound is so weak against the euro, there are better paid jobs in Germany etc, also there is more work in eastern Europe as their economies grow, Poland now relies on workers from Ukraine to fill their job vacancies, ironic or what?

It is immigration from outside the EU that is and should be our main point of concern.

The EFTA courts could rule on UK disputes with EU as it does now on disputes between the EU and EFTA members. As we would become the dominant member of EFTA, our economy and size of population dwarfs the existing EFTA members, we would automatically have a British judge appointed. This would kill the argument about EU courts still wanting jurisdiction over British courts.

There have always been a couple of negative arguments put forward against membership of EFTA, one is some EU rules will apply to British businesses and we would have no say over them, I would argue that’s the case now so nothing changes.

EFTA members must pay to be members of the EEA, but it looks like we are going to have to pay somewhere in the region of £30 billion to leave anyway, so lets pay it as an EFTA/EEA fee, seems sensible and everyone can claim credit for sorting out a thorny issue, ‘our divorce settlement’.

Our transition from the EU to EFTA would avoid the suggested cliff edge scenario but forward by ill-informed remoaners, although I perceive it to be a myth anyway, but allow us to move gently away from the EU and develop our trading and political arrangement with countries throughout the world.

For the EU member states, it meets their needs of money from the UK and access to one of their biggest export market. EFTA is by its own definition an arm’s length member of the EU, a kid brother if you will. 10 Years membership would seem sensible and take the heat out of everything that is going on now with the Brexit negotiations.

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14 Comments on EFTA as an alternative

  1. The best measures of a sound economy are not GDP ( The remainers like it because it increases with every immigrant. and because they can balance the books by selling off Cadburys and ARM, and Getting France to pay for HS2 ). GDP PER PERSON Is relavent. As is Balance of trade, which is why the £ is dropping. Not a single measure has been taken by our gov’t to remedy the problem. I think they expect it to go away. Incidentally Foreigners lining up to invest in Britain is not necessarily a good sign. ( It’s like a Garage sale. )

  2. Why we have to join anything is beyond me.

    We can do a simple free trade deal with EFTA and get on with it. But why we need anything but WTO baffles me unless our Government is proud of what they’ve reduced our country to. It seems as though a Free Trade Deal is some kind of virility symbol. OK if you ‘re desperate. Best get our own house in order.

    And now getting our economy straight is the problem which leaving the EU has made possible. No-one seems bothered. The over riding focus should should education of even the lowest achievers. And this must not be by Blair trickery, or distructive socialist manoevres in Unions and schools. Proper education is the longest and shortist term priority. It must be wrested from the Socialist Iron grip of the teaching unions and regulators.

  3. 1. This cliff edge is pure,pure nonsense in industrial/business terms. I don’t know or care about the Financial sector as I see them as purely parasitic. I don’t care about importers ( They’re just opportunists ), I don’t care about the retail sector as they are supported by EU laws we had to sign before going into EU.I don’t care about those who moved into the eu in the hope of unsophisticated markets. and fimally I don’t care about Agencies who blatantly corrupt Idle, useless, untrained HR empires by misrepresenting imported, desperate applicants for jobs they can’t ( Usually )do, or on worthless third world firms which shouldn’t have space in a proper economy, making sandwiches or farming lettuces.

    Getting rid of the Retail Price Maintenance Act that Heath had to fiddle through parliament, lying every step of the way, before he could even start negotiating. Morning Cloud.

    2. As I remember it GB was a founding member of EFTA which was formed to fight back against EU economic aggression. We abandoned EFTA for Heath ( again ) to join Europe. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they told us “no”

  4. I’m with Nigel Farage and one of the callers into his LBC show on this.
    The caller suggested taking the ‘R’ out of Norway and you’re left with a good answer: No way!

  5. Well done Philip.
    Having an EFTA transition – a stepping stone – option, would be a massive vote winner for UKIP, helping UKIP get to 30%+ in the polls. EFTA is a seperate FTA to the EU, who negotiate their own FTAs around the world.
    Like Liechtenstein, the UK could control immigration, e.g. new eastern Europeans get 1 year working visa, points skill system for staying longer.
    More info:

    recent EFTA seminar and powerpoints:

    EFTA global FTAs

    Opinion polls:

    UKIP supporting EFTA is the fastest way to a Brexit and UKIP being in local councils and Parliament.

  6. No the Norway or Liechtenstein option as the Swiss not in EEA.
    Before the Referndum the Remainers said this option would be tantamount to remaining in the EU, which shows how much they know about the wotkings of the EU.

  7. Phillip, One of the best contributions to how we leave the EU, without going over the proverbial cliff.

    When we leave the EU we can still maintain our EEA membership:

    By invoking Article 112 we can manage Freedom of Movement
    We will be out of the CAP & CFP
    We will not be subject to ECJ
    We have a transition while we can create trade deals
    Oot of the “Political” EU and into the “Trading” EEA
    Only subjected to EU directives about Trade (about 10%) and most of these would have originated from UNESCE, OECD or WTO

  8. How many years did we try to leave EFTA and be allowed by De Gaulle to join the Common Market? Now a return to a much diminished group?

  9. Sorry Philip with deep respect I have to suggest your logic in the world of RealPolitik is flawed and I must agree with Gary Conway.
    We survived the 2ndWW and started from a very low base point of not being able to feed ourselves and all imported food had to paid for at premium rates ( we borrowed billions) and then brought here whilst being surrounded by killer Uboats. If we can survive all that it is ludicrous that we cannot revert back to our state of play viz 1972.
    The following countries have all confirmed their deep desire to share with us AS NATION STATES a prosperous future of commercial co-existence and low tariff trade – Canada; Oz; NZ; USA; India; Jamaica; poss S Africa etc. Both Japan and China cognisant of our technological prowess in the fields of engineering and pharmaceuticals etc want to continue trading with us which will be a two way street. We shall buy from them as long as we can sell to them.
    The cost of the average shopping bill for most if not all families will be cheaper because we can eliminate import taxes om whatever food we care eg tropical fruits and beef from Brasil. The decision will be ours.
    there will be one year of mild panic ( aided and abetted by the evilbbc)and then we shall start to boom. Also though it is bad for foreign holidays but the cheaper pound will be good for exports.

  10. What happened to the divorce settlement on property we have partially paid for?
    Have we already ceded this claim?
    am I being naïve and it is already part of the £30billion settlement?
    i.e the EU originally asked for £50billion,we put in a claim for £20 billion, so the nett result is £30billion

    • I understand from Sky Lunchtime news,
      £30 billion has now been devalued to £20 billion
      Hopefully £10 billion on Friday??????

      I`ve thought for a long time the main EU worry is that we won`t leave. That would spoil Juncker`s plans for The United States of Europe – did he really propose merging his position with Tusker`s????
      Surely that would make him Dictator of Europe!

  11. First somebody arguing that the BBC is impartial, now this. Thought I’d stumbled onto Lib Dem Daily for a moment there!

    I could say much. I will confine myself to saying that EFTA is not Brexit, if we leave the door open in this manner then over time the EU and our pro-EU politicians will open it further, and that “temporary” measures in politics have a habit of becoming permanent.

    There’s also such a thing as the Overton window; a range of acceptable ideas or policies. We should aim as high as possible within this window, then if we fall short the end result won’t be too bad.

    If UKIP, *UKIP*, are pushing for a compromised Brexit, what hope have we of the Tories delivering anything other than Remain in all but name? UKIP must be the ideologically clear voice for pure, 100% Brexit. Leave, leave now, no deal if necessary. Our starting position can never be EFTA.

    If you want to sell your car for £2k, you advertise it for £2.5k. If you advertise it for £2k, you won’t get £2k. What you definitely don’t do is advertise it for £1k now, and the rest at some point later on.

  12. EFTA will be turned into EU membership if our corrupt politicians get their way. All we need is a clean exit; WTO tariffs are not that bad and don’t require free movement of people. There are too many potential invaders in the EU that have been given citizenship; do we really want the door left open for them?

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