Generation Brexit

UK-EFTA Associate membership

Michael Shaw
Michael Shaw | 11 months ago | in UK's and EU's Common Future
It's clear that there are still some serious questions still to the UK's Brexit position but I'd ask you to read the attached report by Swiss foreign policy think tank Foraus, who have identified a possible 'solution' to Brexit given the government's red lines. 


They suggest a model based on the little known FIN-EFTA association whereby Finland had associate membership of EFTA back in 1961, a similar UK-EFTA association agreement would allow restrictions on freedom of movement as well as allowing the UK to be part of EU agencies like Eurotoam and allow the UK conduct it's own international trade deals including a free trade agreement with the EU (similar to the Swiss) rather than membership of EEA/single market. We wouldn't be beholden to the ECJ (or EFTA court as it's only for EEA members). In my opinion it seems to meet the red lines of the British Government (as well as the voters as outlined by this recent study - and it seems quite a sensible solution and we would also benefit from continued free trade access to EFTA members as well as opt- in access to their FTA's with 38 countries, (as member of EFTA you can also negotiate FTAs as a single country) - the paper goes into more detail and it's a convincing read.


Valeria Vigilante 11 months ago

That is a very interesting point; do you think that the EU would accept a similar agreement?

Reply 1

Michael Shaw 11 months ago

Well interestingly, it's not really a decision taken solely by the EU because this is about the future trading relationship rather than withdrawal and EFTA itself is a separate entity from the EU and it's members make the rules, so ultimately it is for the EFTA countries to decide whether a UKEFTA association would be acceptable and since the UK wouldn't seek full membership of the EEA, the EU has little power over such an arrangement

Reply 1