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The Norway Option - Living outside the EU

0 (0 Likes / 0 Dislikes) :: :: Hello, I'm Norman Tebbit and I'd just like to introduce you to this really most interesting film about our European dilemma. It's interesting because it doesn't shout and it's not obsessive and it sets out the possibilities for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union in its ambition of a single European state. What sort of relationship? Well, of course, it would probably be a relationship very much like that which Norway enjoys as a member of the European Free Trade Area, closely aligned with our friends in Europe, pursuing many common interests together but not trying to govern each other's countries. It suggests that, beyond all the shouting on both sides there is a harmonious and sensible way forward. The Palace of Westminster, seat of our British Parliament, which, for forty years has been surrendering power to the European Union and there was a reminder of that at the funeral of Baroness Thatcher. Like the assassination of President Kennedy or the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, or the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, this is clearly a momentous occasion. This is an occasion when everybody will remember where they were on this day. Beneath the dome a St. Paul's, former colleagues gathered to pay their last respects. A small number of the crowd protested, but many others remembered her personal legacy. Half of these people weren't even born, It's actually disgusting but welcome to Britain 2013. If there was a general election tomorrow, then we, I'm speaking for myself personally, I don't know who to vote for, because I can't really see a politician that is standing up for us at the moment for this country anyway. The days are gone, the politicians of this country don't have any power to make any decisions anyway, its all done from Europe, whatever they say it's all over written by Europe they can't do anything, they're stuck. Maggie was the last person to have any ability to change anything. We're completely overwhelmed by Brussels now. I think they should give us a vote on whether we can come out of Europe. We need to get out of Europe, absolutely, I'm dead against it. But they won't let us. The frustrated voice of the British people but what if there was a seismic change in British politics allowing at least a vote on leaving the EU. Might that be reported like this? The government says it has accepted the overwhelming popular vote to leave the European Union. In a statement from Downing Street the Prime Minister said he respected the freely expressed will of the people. In accordance with Article Fifty of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK government will tomorrow be serving a notice on the Presidents of the European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels that the UK will leave the EU in two years time. Within that time scale it's expected the country will seek relationships with other trading blocks particularly the European Free Trade Association. We have of course invented this bulletin but it is possible because of what ministers decided when they met in Portugal in December 2007. The European Union was formed many decades ago and is comprised of many different treaties. The Treaty of Lisbon is perhaps the most interesting because it provides with an exit clause. Welcome to the Jerónimos Monastery where ministers approved the treaty and also signed their names on the pavement. With me is Richard North a leading light in the anti EU movement. explaining the significance of Article Fifty. For Eurosceptics the Lisbon Treaty is the game-changer, it changes everything. For the first time, embodied in the treaty, formally recognised in the Treaty is the right of the member states to leave the European Union. This is allmightily helpful for those of us that are Eurosceptics isn't it, because we've got a pathway perhaps. Yes, you made a good point. It doesn't presage or dictate content, it simply sets out a procedure for negotiations. So in this hypothetical situation where we leave the European Union without any thought it would be absolute chaos wouldn't it surely? Yes, the whole of our International relations are tied up with treaties, agreements and fundamental joined programmes and the idea that the British could stand astride the White Cliffs of Dover and see off the foreigners and tell them that: "we are leaving" and the foreigners would meekly turn around and say: "OK" and come running to us with agreements for trade and other ideas would be nice to see. Everything else that goes with forty years of integration that has to be worked out to the finest detail. So the Lisbon Treaty signals a clear way out and our future bulletins may not be so improbable. In talks over the country's future membership of the European Union the Prime Minister has told parliament the government will fight for what he calls the best deal for Britain. David Cameron was speaking at Prime Minister's Questions following a new poll on the continued membership of the EU. The poll indicates that slightly over 50 percent of the British people would be likely to vote 'no' in any future referendum while around 30 percent would vote in favour with the rest saying they don't know. The poll is in line with other recent surveys. Our recent research is showing that when asked if respondents would prefer to stay in the EU or leave the EU, it falls out as roughly 50 percent would prefer to leave the EU and 30 percent would want to stay in the EU. The rest are not sure what their opinion is. The gap between' yes' and 'no' voters narrows in the latest result, if the Prime Minister were able to negotiate a more favourable deal for Britain or secure repatriation of powers. From our research in recent weeks the majority which is around 58 percent have said that they want to see a referendum, the remaining around 20 to 30 percent have said, they don't. But the fact is, whenever there is an issue of whether there should be a referendum the majority of people will say they want to see a referendum and have a choice in what the outcome is, no matter what the actual subject is about. So if there is an exit route, and most people want it what's happening about a referendum a question the Bruges Group was asking at this event in Manchester timed to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference in the same city. The Bruges group is a think tank we were founded after a speech by Margaret Thatcher, the then Prime Minister, she wanted a situation, where there wasn't centralisation in Europe there was a collection of independent free-trading democratic nation states.That's what she wanted and that's what we're trying to deliver. As Nigel Farage arrived for the meeting he was beseiged by the media, pausing to comment on what he saw as Conservative embarrassment about this meeting being held near their conference. Welcome to the Bruges Group 2013. Later there was a significant moment at the meeting, when the UKIP leader Mr. Farage acknowledged the potential of Article Fifty for an orderly exit from the EU. Once we have had a referendum on our future in European Union, how do the panel see is the best way out of the EU. Is, in fact,Article 50 an acceptable route. I have to say I found the fact Lisbon was pushed through without a referendum makes it very difficult to accept, but there it is law so we have to enter into our divorce from the European Union according to the provisions and principles of Article Fifty, but if we see any shoddy dealing and if we see Article Fifty being used as it means of extracting more from us than we should be giving, then we'll have to throw the whole thing in the bin. So we need to enter into this divorce with the spirit of doing it legally and doing it amicably but the European Union and Brussels itself will need to play fair with the bargain too. There is a pathway out of the European Union and that's to invoke the provisions of Article Fifty which is in the Treaty on European Union and that gives a procedure by which a country can say it wants withdraw from the EU and then of course negotiations begin and an agreement can be reached. There are aspects of the treaties which call for the European Union to have free trade relationships with its neighbours which may well involve the UK joining the European Free Trade Association and thus remaining in the European Economic Area which guarantees full access to the single market as well. So that's the path that we should follow. And all this brings us back here to Westminster the home of the UK Parliament and to the vexed question of whether there should be a referendum on Britain's continued membership of the European Union. Those opposing further EU integration say Britain could rejoin EFTA, the European Free Trade Association comprising of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland which together with the EU member states forms the EEA the European Economic Area or as it is better known the single market. Britain could still remain a member of the single market which is the European Economic Area or EEA which allows for free movement of goods, services, capital and people and that means as far as business is concerned businesses will trade as they have done before, but the difference will be that regulations will no longer apply to 100 percent of the UK but only if you want to the 9 percent which are involved with export so again this'll make business life a lot easier and also to help create jobs. Very recently our Prime Minister David Cameron said that if we left the European Union we would be like Norway

ruled by fax from the European Union. Is that correct? No, I wouldn't say that's correct at all, actually Norway do very well by having a lot of influence in the EU As a very prosperous country, people listen to their opinions in the EU. They've developed something called' policy shaping' where they're consulted in the process of making new regulations or any regulations in the EU and Norway has 3.5 percent unemployment so I would say they're doing the right thing. So when we leave the European Union what's reality, what will happen. Operationally, if you have a look at what will change is that the amount of regulations will fall dramatically. At the moment Britain gets about a thousand new regulations a year and that will drop to about 350 a year, so that's about a seventy percent cut, sixty to seventy percent, which for business is like a tax cut, because regulations are like a tax form. And you've probably noticed you don't hear much about Norway in the news, because well they're doing fine. The CBI has produced a report examining ways in which two countries Switzerland and Norway have formed relationships with the EU without being members of the community. Organisations such as the CBI are saying our position will be much weaker outside the EU because we simply won't have the clout that we have at the moment. The CBI must be looking at other numbers that the rest of the public are looking at,because Britain has, at the moment, about a forty billion trade deficit with the EU, so it hasn't actually helped the exporters, being part of the EU, so by removing the EU part of the agreement with the European countries that regulatory burden, that loss of competitiveness, that taking management time away from managing the business will be removed and Britain will be a much more flexible, much more adaptable and much more competitive and will be able to get a trade balance which could mean about a million extra jobs. The small business community, how will they benefit precisely when we leave the European Union. In a number of ways One of them is the removal of duplication, cause what often happens is that regulations that are made in the EU are actually duplications of existing laws here so they actually need to do double. They also need to hire people to carry all these the regulations that are needed. Now large companies they can use their competitive advantage, because they can hire people to do this, which means they squeeze a small business, which means they can actually eliminate competition, which means the consumer is actually at the mercy of just a few companies supplying these services. It sounds as if our news bulletins are the future may be gathering pace. David Cameron this afternoon confirmed his position on the UK's membership of the EU. Speaking at the annual conference of the Federation of Small Businesses the Prime Minister confirmed it wouldn't be in the interests of business to leave the EU, adding that fifty percent of our exports go to Europe. Addressing the lively audience of business owners, David Cameron said quote: "because we have a seat at the table in the single market we help write the rules of the market." The Prime Minister's remarks were met with criticism amongst the delegates many of whom had voted at their conference twelve years ago to demand that the Federation call for a withdrawal from the European Union. Norway voted twice to stay outside the European Union. How's that turned out. Richard North and I went to Oslo to find out. Two beers please. Sure Our Prime Minister said that if we left the European Union we could end up like Norway an absolute disaster Yeah, I wish you that. I wish every country in the world to have that bad as we have here in Norway Good start. Time for a look around. Norway is a booming country. Its five million inhabitants enjoy a great standard of living, which is why the group which led the campaign for independence feels vindicated. Norway has done very well outside the EU, no question about it. We were told back in '94 when we had the referendum on the EU membership that one hundred thousand jobs would be lost, businesses would go bankrupt, today we are a prospering country. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, so we've done quite well outside. We're a small country, yes, in terms of population, I wouldn't say we are on the edges of Europe, maybe geographically, but we trade with Europe a lot, we still are a part of the Council of Europe, we play a huge role in the UN for instance, so we have influence, just not within the EU. I think it's going to be difficult I really do but it's not impossible of course but because Britain has been a member since 1973, there are so many links ties, agreements what have you. So it will be difficult but not impossible I don't think so, it's all. I rather hope you do it. Norway's fishing industry is flourishing, It's fleets are allowed to catch 40 times more cod in its territorial waters than British boats. Farming too is thriving. Odd-Einar Hjortnes represents 5,000 small farmers in his area of Norway, as well as running an organic milk and beef farm himself. We have a couple of old Norwegian breeds, they will go to a specific market for hotels and restaurants. My family's been running this farm for about 100 years my great-grandfather bought this farm from the local man who had it. Right now I do dairy production, organic milk from 22 cows. Well I think most Norwegians they think that it's far enough to go to Oslo to talk to the politicians and they don't want to go all the way to Brussels to try to talk the politicians into common sense so the main thing about the European Union question was about people deciding on their own future and to have this local politicians still being the ones who are deciding. What do you think would have happened to this farm had the vote gone in another way? Well it certainly wouldn't have been any dairy cows here anymore because the prices has to keep in pace with all the costs that are in this society around us and the Norwegian price level is quite high and if we had the same price development in in dairy and meat that the European Union has had since '94 I would be out of business quite quick. Well I think it's a general opinion in Norway that Norwegian agriculture would have had big trouble if we had joined European Union in 1994 and we are a country quite far north doing much of the agricultute north of the Arctic Circle and having Brussels governing all this I think most people realise that would have to be very difficult. The people of Norway don't want to be a part of the European Union and right now you see that the troubles that the European Union are going through is so deep and so different than what we have in Norway you wouldn't get it through in Norway. Well I think many of the rules they are not they are not made in Europe at all many of the International rules are made up in quite different bodies around the world and they are global not Europe centered, so I think the future is not looking only on Europe you have to look all over the world and to make better world for all of us. This is a key point all regulations in the EU don't originate from Brussels some are passed down from world bodies such as the Codex Alimentarius. Richard spoke with the Norwegian chairman of its fisheries committee. The mandate of Codex work is to ensure food safety and fair practices in trade. Codex works both on regional standards, but primarily on global standards. In a formal sense your a global government or have global governance in another sense? Yes we establish trade rules that would be to the benefit of consumers all over the world and would also be, as I see it, a benefit for trade operators, since the other objective is the fair practices in trade. When our Prime Minister Mr. Cameron says that when agreeing these standards we need to be at' the top table'. Codex is 'the top table', isn't it? Codex is' the top table' for International standards settings but I wouldn't say that the UK has, both in the European Union and in Codex always presented its views based on science, based on skills, based on historical evidence and based on a heavy seafood sector, so the UK will be heard both in the European Union and in Codex when it comes to seafood questions. What's the significance of what we just heard Richard? The first point that emerges is that Norway is fully involved all the way through the decision process. The second thing that comes over, is that the EU is effectively just a middleman, that the EU's not creating standards it's part of the process and when it comes down the EU turns the standard if you like into European law and then the member states including Britain implement it. I wonder if such facts will be reported in our future news bulletins. Sources in Downing Street are indicating that a decision has been taken on the date for a referendum on Britain's continued membership of the European Union and that it will be announced later today. The Norwegian national broadcaster is NRK which keeps its finger on the national political pulse. I spoke with one of its leading commentators. The Norway situation is that the economy is healthy, there is low unemployment, no debt, national debt and we have a very very strong economy because of the oil resources in the North sea. Why do you think the people of Norway voted not to join the EU 20 or so years ago? The Norwegian people have voted no twice, two referendums we've had and the Norwegian people have said no twice. The explanations are twofold, one is traditionally there is a very strong conflict between the central areas of Norway the elite and the rural areas, which became very obvious when we debated the EU question and the the experience that decisions would move from Oslo and Norway to Brussels was a very strong argument why the Norwegians voted 'no', so they said we want to make our own decisions we don't want Brussels to make them. The other is a strong leftist movement in Norway who are very sceptical towards market liberalism and towards what's happening in the economic sector in the European Union. Norway manages very well outside the EU financially and economically and politically and in every way. Norway is a healthy country and you can't really say that it would have been better if we were on the inside. No politician can say that, what some politicians say is that we should have the influence we would have if we were sitting around the table in Brussels instead we're just receiving EU law and regulations by email every week from Brussels. Norway has influence and one of the main reasons for that is of course, that is an important energy exporter of oil and natural gas. Norway is a big player in that area. When you have control over resources like that you always have a say. One of the things that occurs to me is the political self-determination of this country and the maturity of their politics. These people have prospered, these people are doing well, they're happy, they're contented. It's very interesting to see this in action. If you go back to 1972 when you joined the European Union you were together with Norway and Switzerland and others in another trade and negotiating area and if you consider that again we have the UK, we have Norway, we have Switzerland and we could also join Iceland and have a kind of North Atlantic cooperation but that means that UK cannot think that they should be the boss of this system they must accept that they are a part of the system with equals and the free trade thinking of English agriculture, which historically has been quite strong, also has to be revised in such a system but that would just be wise and would give rise to a more prosperous and vibrant rural England. Norway's abundant wildlife and its rich culture and strong business ethos are valued by its people. And the security this brings is recognised at Oslo University where academics have studied the impact of remaining outside the European Union. We have particularly focused on institutional developments and also the constitutional and democratic. So kind of common denominator for all the work is really the concern about democracy and its preconditions and if you want the challenges in a changing world. It has generated a lot of security for business basically. You know the operation rules, we may not agree with all the them, but basically it renders as a high level of predictability to productive activity in general and also Norway has participated in a lot of the different schemes that the EU has, including for instance research schemes and so on and therefore it has not left us out, we are cooperating on par with other Europeans and we're not suffering from not being a formal member in that sense. For at least one government minister, also a board member of the Norwegian Centre Party, the argument about staying out was won long ago. I was 14 years old I think 13-14 and the referendum on the EU membership was coming up in 1994 and my main arguments against membership at that time was that it would be a deficit to the Norwegian democracy to move the decision-making from local governments, regional governments and from the Norwegian Parliament to Brussels and of course ahead of the referendum in '94 there was a big grassroots movement against membership and we succeeded. We were told up all the catastrophies that Norway would suffer if we did not join the EU, for instance we were told that, from the government which was pro membership, that we would lose fifty thousand jobs almost overnight, now obviously that has not happened. I think everyone would agree that the Norwegian economy and the Norwegian welfare state is much more solid and the private economy in Norway is stronger today than it was at that time. There's absolutely no one in the Norwegian debate that wants to join the EU and there's a vast majority in the Norwegian public that does not want EU membership and not only that but they want less integration with the EU. Well, the reason why we joined the EEA agreement was to be part of the internal market, which means that we can trade with the EU freely, there are some exceptions on processed fish but they're very very small and quite minor, I would say, but with the EEA agreement we have nearly free trade with the EU and it works very well. In terms of influence or decisions, well yes we are not at the table when the voting takes place but we are able to influence the directives at earlier stages. We have experts working in Brussels, we have dialogue, we take part in some of the committee meetings and hearings and we feel we have a very good dialogue with the EU and we are able to influence directives that are important for Norway. Now, at the end of the day when the voting takes place the situation is like this: Norway has the right to veto if a directive is not suitable for us if it is too controversial we can say no, while in the EU the countries are subject to majority vote, so I would say that we are better off. So where does this all leave us? Richard and I went on a cruise on Oslo Fjord to reflect on our visit. It's a fascinating relationship, isn't it. They don't want the EU, they do have this organisation called EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, this links them into the single market so they become part of the EEA, the European Economic Area and they're actively exploring areas of improvement, so they're ahead of the game, they're thinking ahead and looking to Britain to say come and join us. The meeting with their minister wasn't that powerful stuff. So different from the weasley words and the circumventions you get from British ministers you had somebody who was very very clear. We are at the beginning of an adventure not at the end of an era. One of the things I noticed is how very much government is not in your face here. Yes, you could sum it up: they govern themselves, we are governed. I think a lot of people have a curious view, that were we to leave the European Union, there would be battleships up and down the English Channel so to speak. That for some reason or another on both sides of the Channel we would be intent on cutting off our noses to spite our faces. The Norway option, membership of the European Free Trade Area, in friendship with our friends on the mainland, is one which is open to us and should be followed. I think there will come a moment when a decision has to be reached to stop all the arguing and talking to make a decision on whether we should remain as a member of this future European state or whether we should peaceably withdraw. I think that moment is not yet, I don't think that the debate is sufficiently well informed. In the UK senior political commentators have begun debating the significance of the Norway option and what that means to all of us. This is exactly the kind of thinking which we need to have more of. And you can see the Norway thing unbelievably well, it's much more democratic, it's a great country, enviable, of course there are certain differences with Norway. One is it's much smaller, a few million people and secondly they've got that amazing oil base, so their economy is not nearly as complex or as global as ours. It is worth making a point that you can't actually just pull out of Europe, you still need to have a relationship very complex trading relationship which would be regulated. The whole exit business is really interesting and how its handled, what are the new arrangements and one of the things which we'll all need to do actually ahead of the Yes/ No campaign is to work out the arguments. Peter Oborne was speaking at the meeting organised by the Bruges Group, at which Nigel Farage was challenged by the veteran Tory Euro sceptic MP Bill Cash, concerning the Tory marginal seats. That is something worth fighting for, that is the national interest, that is why I say to Nigel: lay off our marginal seats. Don't just try and go for a joint ticket, it won't work. But if you do it, you will then be allies and not our enemies. Thank you very much. But I have to say Bill, I'm sorry to say this, but listening to you this afternoon I've realised that you are a hopelessly out-of-date tribal politician, who has not recognised that British politics has fundamentally changed and to ask me to support a party led by Mr. Cameron in order that we can get back our national independence, I'm sorry you've got to do rather better than that. And finally into each life a little rain must fall. But we can all imagine a brighter future when the announcement many long for comes to pass The government says it has accepted the overwhelming popular vote to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister is expected to hold an unscheduled meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace at 2 o'clock, prior to addressing the House of Commons at 3.30. (Subtitles thanks to Margaret Parkinson, Glynis Oliver and Darren Sharman).

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Duration: 36 minutes and 26 seconds
Country: Czech Republic
Language: English
Views: 1,481
Posted by: on Dec 23, 2013

The Norway Option - Living outside the EU

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