Norway's Prime Minister doesn't understand why the UK would want 'the Norwegian model' post-Brexit

By On June 07, 2018

Norway's Prime Minister doesn't understand why the UK would want 'the Norwegian model' post-Brexit

Erna Solberg
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
NTB Scanpix/Vegard Wivestad Groett/ via REUTERS

  • Norway's PM, Erna Solberg, can't see why Britain wants a soft Brexit.
  • Her country is a member of the European Economic Area but not the EU.
  • Norway has to comply with European laws but has no say in EU policy.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is sceptical about whether Brexiteers will really be content with the 'Norwegian model' of cooperation with the EU.

Norway isn't a member of the EU but, rather, is a member of th e European Economic Area.

This means Norway has to comply with the four freedoms of movement within the EU: people, goods, services and capital. It must also implement all EU laws â€" however it must do so without having any say in them.

Norwegians have no MEPs nor any European Commissioners. At most, they can try to exert influence over decisions through diplomatic channels in Brussels.

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"Why would you leave the EU to accept that ?" Erna Solberg, leader of Høyre (the Conservative Party) said, speaking to Politico.

Solberg and her party want closer cooperation with the EU â€" it's a thorn in their side that Norway has little to no say in things that affect its economy and population, but Solberg's Eurosceptic coalition partner of the populist group, the Progress Party, has no interest humouring discussion of anything to do with EU membership.

Norway sees itself very differently to the British, according to Sol berg, refering to the welfare state and economy in her own country: "We believe we have the best system in the world, but we know we're small and that it's the big countries that make the decisions," she said.

"[Our system] might be a little bit more difficult for a larger country."

In addition to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein each have a seat in the European Economic Area. The UK would join if it were to decide on following the 'Norwegian model'.

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This is the Brexit option that has been described as 'soft', where Europeans and the British can continue to act without barriers â€" however it would mean that, exactly as is the case in Norway, the British government would no longer have any say in European policy.

"The EEA is the only organisati on in which Norway is a superpower and losing that is of course important â€" then Britain [would] become the superpower," the Prime Minister joked.

Source: Google News Norway | Netizen 24 Norway

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