Today the cross-party Norway Plus Group of MPs are publishing a major report advocating ‘Common Market 2.0’ - a plan to reset the UK-Europe relationship for the 21st Century.
‘Common Market 2.0’, co-authored by Lucy Powell MP and Robert Halfon MP, on behalf of the Norway Plus Group, sets out how stepping out of the EU political integration project and towards the popular and fruitful common market relationship that the UK enjoyed with Europe in the 1970s and 1980s could gain widespread public support whilst delivering on the result of the 2016 referendum.
‘Common Market 2.0’, which will see the UK remain in the single market and ensure continuity in our current customs arrangements, will deliver a Brexit that protects jobs and livelihoods and begins to reunite our deeply divided country.
The report published today sets out in detail what this will mean for everything from trade to workers’ rights and environmental standards.
Commenting, Lucy Powell MP and Robert Halfon MP, co-authors of the report, said:
“As the chances of a No Deal Brexit are rising, today we are coming together, from different sides of the House of Commons, to make the case for a common sense Brexit deal.
“The report we are publishing together makes the case for a Brexit that delivers on the result of the 2016 referendum while protecting the economic interests of working people across the UK.
“Common Market 2.0, offers Theresa May a last chance at a Brexit deal that can command a cross-party majority. Common Market 2.0 is also the only deal that meet’s Labour’s six tests by delivering on Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a customs union a strong Single Market deal. Common Market 2.0 is the only sensible, common sense Brexit deal that can work. We urge MPs from across the House to support Common Market 2.0.”
Commenting, Nick Boles MP and Stephen Kinnock MP, co-chairs of the Norway Plus Group, said:
“Lucy Powell and Robert Halfon are highly respected colleagues. The fact that they have co-authored the pamphlet that we are publishing today will make MPs from all parties sit up and take notice.
“Lucy and Robert are absolutely right: Common Market 2.0 respects the 52 / 48 mandate, commands a parliamentary majority, deals with concerns about free movement, removes the need for the backstop and re-unites our deeply divided country.”
The Norway Plus Group is an informal group of MPs who are committed to overcoming narrow tribal party-political divides, in the national interest. We don’t have a formal committee structure, and nor do we have any official designation or legal status. Each weekly meeting is chaired by Nick Boles MP and Stephen Kinnock MP.
The Norway Plus Group are simply united by two core beliefs: first that MPs must act to ensure that the UK does not crash out of the European Union (EU) without a deal, and second that the Common Market 2.0 proposals which are set out in this document represent the only form of Brexit that respects the referendum result whilst protecting the jobs and livelihoods of our constituents.
The report sets out in detail what Common Market 2.0 will mean for everything from trade to workers’ rights and environmental standards. In summary, Common Market 2.0 would:
- Safeguard jobs by offering real frictionless trade through full access to the Single Market and a new customs union, and by creating certainty with a long-term relationship.
- Guarantee workers’ rights and protections for the long-term as part of Common Market membership.
- Provide new controls over Free Movement in certain circumstances when our government deems it necessary.
- Allow more money for public services as our contributions to the Common Market 2.0 would be significantly lower than to the EU, in fact about half.
- Take the UK out of the (ever closer) political union, the Common Fisheries Policy, Common Agricultural Policy and the ECJ
- Take back control of budgetary contributions from the EU and remove the VAT element.
- Eliminate the need for the Irish backstop to be activated because we would move seamlessly from the transition period into Common Market 2.0