The case for the Norway Option

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 quite 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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