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Should Brexit Britain pursue the Norway model?

Norway voted against joining the EU twice, in 1974 and 1994. Nevertheless, the country was the only non-member state to join the European Single Market when it was established in 1992. In exchange for access to the single market, Norway committed itself to contributing significantly to the EU budget and implementing all EU legislation without having a say on how this is drafted.

We asked investors attending Expert Investor Norway this week whether the UK should pursue a similar course of action to prevent further economic damage. We received a split answer: a small majority of 55% of delegates believed the UK should establish a similar relationship with the EU as they do, thus prioritising access to the single market, while the remaining 45% advised against such a deal.

 

 

Norway has a couple of opt-outs from the single market: it doesn’t participate in the EU’s agricultural and fishery policies. This means there potentially is space for the UK to gain limited concessions. The most obvious one would be a limitation to the free movement of people, which Norway accepted when it did its deal with the EU.

Interestingly, over a third of Norwegian fund buyers believe Britain should retain access to the single market without accepting free movement of people. A larger share of delegates, however, think the UK should be denied such a deal. 

Part of the Bonhill Group.