Tom Bennett Profile picture
Jul 24, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
(1/7) If #EEA & #EFTA were the ‘worst of both worlds’ they’re often portrayed as, why would 4 successful countries stay in them, despite the opportunity to leave or join the EU? Some quick myth busting:
(2/7) 1. EFTA countries take only 20-30% of EU legislation, excluding most contentious areas like Common Agricultural Policy, and Justice & Home Affairs 2. EU legislation that EFTA does take on primarily concerns standardisation necessary for a single market.
(3/7) The vast majority of this legislation is written by expert bodies, not MEPs, which EFTA countries have just as much input into as EU countries. Similar to what would happen in a trade deal 3. EFTA countries pay less to the EU, and have more control of it.
(4/7) Most of their contribution is programme-specific – they choose which programmes (Galileo, Erasmus, etc.) to opt into, and fund them directly (not into central EU coffers). Lichtenstein are part of 3 programmes, Norway 12, so Lichtenstein pay much less per capita than Norway
(5/7) Even Norway though pays only two thirds per capita what the UK pays, and when this is adjusted for GDP per capita, it is less than half 4. EFTA countries are not part of a customs union, and can set their own trade policy. EFTA often negotiates as a bloc
(6/7) (existing deals with Japan, Mexico, and many more), but countries can opt out or pursue their own deals as well. 5. If the UK were to join EFTA, it would be the fifth largest trading bloc in the world
(7/7) 6. In terms of borders, people cross the Norwegian/Swedish border without hindrance, while goods vehicles file paperwork online, are tracked electronically, and only pulled over when customs are suspicious

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