The Campaign to Rejoin EFTA
Applying to rejoin the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and securing a better relationship with the EU through EFTA membership presents the fastest and most realistic way to limit economic shock and build a brighter future for the United Kingdom.
EFTA4UK began in 2015 as one of the original campaigns for a referendum on EU membership. The purpose of our campaign is to secure a future relationship with our European neighbours that works for all, and more closely resembles the promises made to voters before the EU referendum by promoting EFTA and the EEA options as a moderate alternative to EU membership.
Since our relaunch in September 2020, we have secured the support of Brexiteers who had expected Brexit to be an orderly process as well as former Remain campaigners who accept the political reality we find ourselves in.
WHAT IS EFTA?
EFTA is the ‘European Free Trade Association’ which the UK helped establish in 1960
EFTA was founded by the Stockholm Convention in 1960. Relations with the EEC, later the European Community (EC) and the European Union (EU), have been at the core of EFTA activities from the beginning. Since the beginning of the 1990s, EFTA has actively pursued trade relations with third countries in and beyond Europe.
EFTA and THE EU
EFTA consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) brings together the Member States of the European Union and three of the EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – in a single market, also referred to as the “Internal Market”.
The campaign in 2021
A no deal or a thin deal will not be sufficient for the UK and the shortcomings of the situation will become apparent very quickly.
In those circumstances, the pressure on the Government to act and return the country to a sense of normality will be overwhelming.
THE EFTA OPTION
Applying to rejoin EFTA and securing a better relationship with the EU through EFTA membership presents the fastest and most realistic way to return to normality.
CAN IT BE DONE?
Although there are challenges, we believe that EFTA membership could be achieved in perhaps 5-6 months and the new relationship with the EU close to a conclusion by the end of 2021.
Anyone looking at the UK media (let alone social media) might be forgiven for concluding that the country is divided into unreconciled ‘Remainers’ for whom nothing less than EU membership will do, and hardline ‘Brexiters’ who want nothing more than ‘No Deal’ on WTO terms.
In reality, the largest group are the ‘quiet majority’ who have accepted the result of the 2016 Referendum, but wish to maintain friendly relations with our friends in Europe, minimising economic upheaval and securing the benefits of the European Single Market (EEA).
A key priority for the EFTA4UK Campaign is to bring both ‘sides’ of the debate together looking forward rather than endlessly repeating the arguments of 2016.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
MAKE A DONATION
Your generosity makes our work possible. We are fundraising to run a full-time campaign, including parliamentary and constituency lobbying of MPs, professional media engagement, events bringing policymakers together with experts.
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Get the latest news from the campaign, take part in meetings (over Zoom at present), hear about forthcoming events, contribute to our campaign materials, share useful articles and support EFTA4UK on your social media channels.
LATEST ARTICLES from EFTA4UK
- Singled out for third-rate treatment?What the shellfish row tells us about being a third country to the Single Market.
- The UK-EU Deal Explained: Selling Services into the Single MarketLeaving the Single Market means an end to the exemptions from national rules of each EU member state which the UK previously enjoyed. What does the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement mean for UK service providers?
- Does the UK-EU trade deal produce the goods?The TCA is a political win for an economic loss; the task is to build on it
- EFTA4UK Statement on the UK-EU DealThe EFTA4UK campaign welcomes this deal despite the fact that it appears to fall a long way short of our expectations.