Tag Archives: Norway

How ICELAND could just decide the UK’s European future, let alone the footie

One potential option raised for a post-Brexit UK has been membership of the European Economic Area (EEA).

It allows a number of European countries to be part of the EU’s single market without being members of the EU.

As with this whole debate, there are arguments for and against being a member of the EEA, let alone the EU.

But a UK minister has now suggested that the UK being part of the EEA may not necessarily be plain sailing.

“If the UK left the EU and sought to retain its membership of the EEA, as the UK would be changing its relationship with the EEA, the EEA Agreement would need to be modified,” said business minister Anna Soubry, in a written parliamentary answer.

“This would require the unanimous agreement of all EEA members.”

What’s this got to with Iceland… And Liechtenstein for that matter?

Flag of Liechtenstein

As the UK government website says: “The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market.”

And that’s where Iceland comes into this as yet theoretical post-Brexit world.

But interestingly, the same section of the UK government website opens up another potential option for a Brexit Britain.

“Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member but is part of the single market – this means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals,” it says.