The campaign ‘Norway for Now’, an idea promoted by Nick Boles, is that Britain should join the European Economic Area and EFTA, until such time as we can move further out of the EU, for example with a Canada-style free-trade deal. This is what Norway and Iceland and Liechtenstein do. The idea sounds nice as a friendly and temporary compromise. But in fact the psychology is wrong. Such arrangements were devised more as an entry chamber to full membership (which is what Norwegian elites still want) than as part of an exit strategy. The Norwegian Prime Minister is now making this point. The point of Leave is to escape the gravitational pull of Brussels. Why make self-contradictory efforts to stay in the orbit and leave it at the same time?
This article is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator Notes, which appears in this week’s magazine