Is David Cameron right to say that the “Norway option” won’t work for a Britain outside the EU?

Steven Woolfe
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Norway only follows a quarter of the single market rules (Source: Getty)

Steven Woolfe, economic spokesman for Ukip, says Yes

Spot on David! It’s good you are clear on this. Norway has implemented 99.1 per cent of EU regulations since its 1992 trade deal. That’s 10,000 rules – about five a day. But even Norway’s bad European Economic Area deal is better than our EU membership.

Like us, Norway has almost no influence to change rules, and we implement 100 per cent of them! Norway does 2.5 times more EU trade per capita from outside than the UK does inwards.

Since Norway’s fishing industry is not governed by the EU Common Fisheries Policy, it still exists. Talking fishes, David, your Norway excursion is a red herring. If only you could be clear on exactly what you want from your EU renegotiation.

Stop scaremongering about what the world’s fifth largest economy can negotiate on Brexit, compared to the twenty-seventh. You are leader of a great, outward looking, global trading nation.

The EU sells more stuff to us than we do to them. We will get a much better deal than Norway.

Robert Oulds, the director of the Bruges Group, says No

The Norway option, remaining in the single market and re-joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), is an interim solution – an off the shelf solution allowing for a speedy exit from the EU.

It is the only credible path by which the UK can remain as a part of the single market but with much greater flexibility.

The Prime Minister’s claims about the Norway option’s shortcomings are based on incorrect assumptions.

Norway does not contribute directly to the EU, apart from procuring services from it.

Norway only follows a quarter of the single market rules, not the bogus 75 per cent. Most of these regulations originate from UN bodies in which Norway is more engaged than individual EU members. The Norway option is supported by 70 per cent of Norwegians.

If a small nation such as Norway can use the European Economic Area/EFTA to its advantage – they are far more prosperous per head – then the UK will be able to use it as a platform to deliver what we want: a genuine common market without the baggage of political union.

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