The Brexit negotiations have reached crunch point.
The Prime Minister has agreed a deal with the European Union.
In a few weeks MPs will have to vote. The parliamentary arithmetic looks very challenging.
The chances of no deal are rising day-by-day.
The UK needs a Plan B.
One that can work for the UK and the EU.
One that both Leavers and Remainers can back.
One that delivers on the referendum result.
That plan is ‘Norway Plus’.
Norway Plus is the only alternative plan that the EU might sign up to at this late stage
Norway Plus is the only alternative plan which might win a Parliamentary majority
Norway Plus is the only alternative plan that would protect jobs and preserve the Union of the UK
What are the advantages of Norway Plus?
Norway Plus is the only alternative deal that the EU is ready to sign up to
- EEA and EFTA already exist so joining them wouldn’t require the negotiation of a bespoke set of arrangements
- Unlike a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the EU could agree to Norway Plus straight away
- The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and both the Irish and Norwegian Prime Ministers have all spoken in favour of the idea
Norway Plus is the only deal that can win a Parliamentary majority
- Unlike a Canada-style FTA, no deal or a second referendum, Norway Plus is likely to secure the support of a majority of MPs
- Norway Plus would deliver the result of the 2016 referendum on schedule
- Norway Plus provides a platform from which we could negotiate a longer-term deal securing greater control
Norway Plus is the only alternative deal that would protect jobs and preserve the union of the UK
- Unlike a Canada-style FTA and no deal, Norway Plus would prevent a hard border in Ireland
- Norway Plus would protect manufacturing supply chains and jobs, and maintain frictionless trade with the EU
- Norway Plus would not require Northern Ireland to accept different rules than the rest of the UK
Recent coverage of Norway Plus
Stephen Kinnock in New European – 29th November 2018:
Erma Solberg, Norwegian Prime Minister – 28th November 2018:
Guðlaugur Þór, Icelandic Foreign Minister – 27th November 2018:
Stephen Kinnock on BBC News – 26th November 2018:
The Guardian – 26th November 2018:
Nick Boles in the FT – 27th November 2018:
Nicola Sturgeon in the Guardian – 27th November 2018:
Stephen Kinnock in the Guardian – 8th May 2018:
There is still time to negotiate Norway Plus…
Foundations of Norway Plus
The Norway Plus plan is based on ideas and legal arguments that have been developed and tested by leading statesmen, academics and lawyers during the course of the two years since the referendum.
Former Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen is the most distinguished advocate of the idea that the UK should assert its right to stay in the European Economic Area after Brexit. A passionate and principled supporter of the Leave campaign, Lord Owen believes that the UK should negotiate a Canada-style free trade agreement from within the EFTA pillar of the EEA:
Former Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Richard Aikens, Professor George Yarrow of the Regulatory Policy Institute and Professor Guglielmo Verdirame of Kings College, London recently published a legal opinion on the strength of the UK’s claim to full Treaty rights under the EEA Agreement after Brexit:
Their arguments are supported by a large number of QCs and leading practitioners of international and European law.
The most influential of them is Professor Dr Carl Baudenbacher, former President of the EFTA Court, who set out his views on the potential of the EEA for the UK after Brexit:
Professor Yarrow was also the author of the original papers that explored the advantages of staying in the EEA after Brexit:
George Trefgarne, chief executive of Boscobel & Partners and member of the Advisory Council of Open Europe, has recently published Norway then Canada: A new strategy to avoid a Brexit smash:
A number of MPs and commentators have written articles about the potential for a Brexit based on interim membership of the EEA:
James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk:
Rupert Darwall, fellow of the Centre for Policy Studies:
Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph:
Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph:
Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home:
Nick Boles, MP for Grantham and Stamford and chairman of the Norway Plus campaign, floated the idea of a transition out of the EU via the EEA in July 2017: