The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Switching from EU to EFTA Single Market membership

Hugo van Randwyck


There are easy ways to move from EU membership to EFTA membership, in weeks and months, rather than years. In implementing changes there can be a choice between doing things the ‘easy way’ or the ‘hard way’. This paper will look at moving to EFTA membership the easy way.

The European Economic Area allows for the free movement of: goods, services, people and capital. The aim is to move to an alternative which is: likely to have most public support, fast and easy to implement, likely to have most business support, also easier for other countries to win a referendum. This option is what Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have – EFTA/EEA, or European Free Trade Association and Single Market membership. This is an off-the-shelf alternative, which includes benefits of the UK running:
- Agriculture
- Fisheries
- Home Affairs
- Justice
- Spending the £9bn that goes to the EU and comes back, according to UK priorities
- New regulations falling from around 1000 a year, to 350 a year
- Reviewing the need for the 100,000 EU regulations and assessing the current 5,000 EEA regulations
- Ability to negotiate and agree Free Trade Agreements with any other country
- Re-join world bodies and speak for British interests directly
- Ability to veto implementation of new EEA/Single market regulations which are not in British interests, and also current regulations which may be harmful and duplications of existing British regulations

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