Amber Rudd’s suggestion that Norway-plus could be an alternative if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is rejected has added momentum to the campaign.
But what is Norway-plus, would British MPs back it and would it truly deliver on the promises made in the Brexit referendum?
Norway Plus is a compromise that has broad appeal to the pragmatic middle. It delivers a softish Brexit with a deal that preserves membership of the Single Market and keeps the union of the UK intact. 6/— Nick Boles MP (@NickBoles) December 7, 2018
– Why is it called Norway-plus?
The idea is based on Norway’s relationship with the European Union as a member of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) and European Economic Area (EEA).
Being in the EEA after Brexit would keep the UK in the single market, meaning goods, services and people could continue to move within the bloc in the same way as before, therefore limiting the potential disruption to the British economy.
On top of that, the “plus” bit of Norway-plus would involve a customs union with the EU, which, combined with the single market elements, would avoid a hard border with Ireland.
– Who backs it?
A cross-party group of British MPs including Tory Nick Boles and Labour’s Stephen Kinnock have pushed the idea as a way of delivering Brexit – the UK will leave the European Union – while maintaining the closest possible relationship with Brussels.
The instruction given by 52:48 referendum vote is clear: move house, but stay in same neighbourhood. To leave EU's political project, but to retain full access to a market of 500m consumers. #NorwayPlus meets those aims, introduces a safeguard on FoM & solves Irish border issue pic.twitter.com/EuKHwpsNkj— Stephen Kinnock (@SKinnock) December 6, 2018
Mr Kinnock has claimed that at least 10 of the UK's Cabinet ministers would back it if Mrs May’s deal is thrown out by MPs on December 11.
– Who opposes it?
British Leave supporters view Norway-plus as “Brexit in name only” because it keeps the UK tied to Brussels’ rules, a customs union would restrict Britain’s ability to strike trade deals around the world and there would be no end to the free movement of EU migrants to the UK.
— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) December 8, 2018
EEA is a terrible idea for us:“Far from being a compromise, the EEA option even without the Customs Union attachment (the plus of Norway plus) is even more restrictive for the UK than the PM’s deal.”
And what’s the precedent for being in _both_ the EEA and CU? EU membership... https://t.co/JN8EzGX13V