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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The Norway Option

Re-joining EFTA as an alternative to membership of the European Union

Dr Richard North 


Norway, as a member of the EEA – outside of the EU but with influence over it in exchange for some obligations - is often dismissed as lacking in influence, taking its orders from the EU in what is known as “fax democracy”. As this report demonstrates, though, that is a wanton distortion of the true situation.

As long as we are in the EU, we have less control than we would like over the formulation of intergovernmental treaties which cannot be changed, not even by the EU. Its institutions simply act as the “middle-man”, turning quasi-legislation into actionable law. If there was such a thing as “fax law”, the EU would be as much a recipient as any other body. Compared with the UK (and any other EU Member State), Norway has far more autonomy and influence, and for a relatively small country, it punches massively above its weight. As an independent country, using the “Norway Option”, the UK could do likewise.

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