UK can trade with the European Market and not be part of the political union

Supporters of membership of the EU are floating the idea that withdrawal from the EU’s political structures implies withdrawal from the European market.

This is piffle, and they know it, but one or two journalists are running with the notion.

In truth, every neighbouring state enjoys unrestricted trade with the EU: Iceland, Switzerland, Andorra, Macedonia, Turkey, the lot.

Everyone in Brussels knows that Britain would remain in the common market, just as, say, the Channel Islands do today. Guy Verhofstadt made a speech recently in which he specifically proposed a category of “associate membership” open to the UK and any others who wanted it, based on full participation in the internal market without political union.

Businesses would be able to trade with the EU on the same terms as now, but with lower regulatory costs. It suits Swiss firms; it would suit ours, too.


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