Monday, 18 January 2016

EEA / EFTA - Facts not Fear

"Dave dropped the spade and rubbed the mud from his hands before spitting on the ground and walking away, to meet with Osborne and Mandelson. He had to let them know ... the Norway Option was dead and buried. As the chauffeur whisked him away in to the Westminster night, the Prime Minister would never have envisaged the sight of Norway rising, clawing it's way back through layers of FUD and mud. And somewhere in the darkness, it bided its time to exact a bloody revenge"

He thought the matter was dead and buried - but as with many things, he was wrong.

This is a video about EFTA / EEA vs the EU:

- and it's based on a brilliant blog found at

The author has provided one of the clearest comparison check-lists yet regarding continued EU membership vs EFTA / EEA arrangements. Readers will know, my advocacy for this approach stems from Flexcit (and latterly TMS) where it's used as a foundation from which to build our way back out to the world.

The video doesn't say what Norway decides to do of its own accord - only highlighting that which it is obliged to accept under EFTA / EEA.

The big question for me in all this, and hopefully the video will convey it - is why did David Cameron decided to attack Norway so early in the debate? Personally, I think his team realised that EFTA / EEA was the the most realistic threat on the table to continued EU membership. As you will see, his 'pay but no say' mantra is well oiled and repeated; you can almost see the coaches behind him willing him to successfully convey the message and convince the people of the UK that the exit is blocked.

Interestingly, I think I've spotted a 'tell' during the House of Commons section where he trips ever so slightly over his words. The importance of delivering this knife in to the belly of the Leave campaign in plain daylight almost got to him. Perhaps you'll spot it too.

At the end of the film, I suspect that you'll be convinced, like me, that 'Dave' felt he had no option but to assassinate his biggest threat early on. It's a move which has allowed him to continue his 'negotiation' charade without distraction. It's so much harder to triangulate when there's a reasonable option on the table rather than two warring extremes.

Cameron and Osborne (and dare I say Mandelson .. yes, he's there somewhere) will have moved on from this issue and will be keen to glibly discredit it rather than revisit the scene of the crime. The spectre of Norway rising may just force them to though. But this time, we'll be armed and prepared.

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