As the Article 50 negotiations have progressed and Parliament has debated the draft Withdrawal Agreement, there have been calls for the UK to continue its membership of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) either as an interim step before progressing to a more usual free trade agreement arrangement, or as an end state. This has been called ‘Norway then Canada’, ‘Norway+’ and now ‘Common Market 2.0’ and the various iterations have included EFTA membership, a customs union, neither or both. This briefing looks at the mechanics by which continued EEA membership might be achieved, and describes the reasons why (even if it could be agreed) remaining as a member of the EEA even for a short period could be damaging to the UK.
Far from being a compromise, the EEA option even without the Customs Union attachment (the ‘plus’ of Norway plus) is even more restrictive for the UK than the draft Withdrawal Agreement as it stands.
[To read the original policy brief, click here.]
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