One powerful argument against Nick Boles’ “Norway +” plan has been authored by… Nick Boles. Writing for the Daily Mail shortly after the referendum, the former Skills Minister argued that pursuing an exit that keeps the UK in the EU’s Single Market is a tactic of Remainers desperate to frustrate the referendum result. He called Norway model advocates “noisy and opinionated… diehard Remainers”, who refuse to “listen to the voters.”
“They calculate the best way to frustrate the referendum result is for Britain to confine itself to a ‘technical’ exit only.
This would mean sliding seamlessly into a position like Norway’s, where we are still in the Single Market, still bound by freedom of movement laws and still subject to rulings by the European Court of Justice.”
If 2016 Boles thinks Norway is bad, imagine what he would have thought about “Norway+”, which drags the UK even closer to the suffocating rule of the EU by tacking on membership of its Customs Union, which Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are all free from. Guido agrees with the Nick of 2016.
British Influence’s arch-Remain boss Peter Wilding has launched a new campaign seeking a judicial review to prevent Britain leaving the single market. Wilding says:
“Britain’s membership of the ‘Single Market’ or European Economic Area (EEA) was not covered in the EU referendum. The government says if we leave the EU we automatically leave the EEA – the single market. We think they are wrong in law.”
The campaign supports the so-called EEA or Norway option – full single market access in exchange for implementing the EU’s laws and accepting free movement. Yet they aren’t being truthful when they say the EEA was not covered in the referendum: Wilding and British Influence regularly spoke about it, in very negative terms. At the time they called it a “con” and a “lose lose” situation:
“Norway has single market access but pays a quota into the EU budget, adopts all relevant EU legislation (but with no input in formulating it) and accepts EU immigration. “This will sound to all reasonable British voters as a lose lose rather than a win win. Selling it as anything it also would be con.”
Wilding himself told the Guardian in February:
“Eurosceptics who peddle the myth that Norway is the best [model] for a non-EU Britain are deceiving the British public . They say leaving leads to more democracy and security. This is nonsense.”
Now Wilding’s campaign has completely reversed its position, saying in an email last month:
“Membership of the EEA is a golden opportunity to maintain our economic competitiveness while gaining some discretion over our own immigration system.”
Peak Remain dishonesty.