Monday, 16 December 2019
EFTA should be the forward path now
When Stephen Kinnock proposed joining the European Economic Area, I was one of those who objected. The fight to remain in the EU had not yet been lost and at least one EEA head of government had expressed objections to our joining. Now, subject only to rubber-stamping by Johnson's new party in the Commons, we will be out of the EU by February. The difficulty of convincing other governments of our good faith remains, but if we succeed we will return the UK to a position that we were in before we joined the European Community. Then we were members of the first free trade area in Europe, namely EFTA, which a UK Conservative government had helped set up in 1960. It seems that re-joining EFTA could provide a first step to becoming part of the wider EEA.