Saturday, 19 January 2013

Government By Fax- Is The Prime Minister Wrong On Norway and the European Union?

Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron warned that the United Kingdom would be governed by fax if we left the European Union.

His argument was that we would be bound by the EU's social market rules even if we did enjoy a Norway-style relationship with the EU.

Iceland, Lietchenstein and Norway are - along with the EU - part of the European Economic Area. There are, in addition, joint EEA structures.

The European Free Trade Agreement (these days, Iceland, Lietchenstein, Norway and Switzerland) had produced a factsheet on how EEA laws are made - note that this is from before the Treaty of Lisbon, so parts of it might be out-of-date on the EU side.

Unless I have misread it, it seems that for the non-EU members of the EEA, it is not a simple case that the legislation is passed in Brussels and Strasbourg and is then imposed on them by fax.

Moreover, in drawing up proposals, the European Commission consults with various bodies, including the EEA.

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