Europa United welcomes Atakan Uzun to our team of contributors and in his first piece for us, Atakan asks what frightens Britain so much about being in the Customs Union or Single Market?
The Brexit referendum campaign and the deadlock have dominated the past three years of international and European politics in general.
The referendum campaign on both sides was overly poor at facilitating debate with the leave side of the campaign telling constant lies about how the British economy would flourish once they left the European Union while the remain side of the campaign not doing enough to promote European Union membership for Britain. The blame for the entire referendum being held lies solely on David Cameron’s shoulders after he promised the British electorate, a referendum on European Union membership if they would vote for the Conservative Party in the 2015 General Election because he was, in fact, afraid of losing 15 seats or so to the United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP). In the end, surprisingly to David Cameron, the Tories got a landslide victory which meant that Cameron delivered on his promise to hold a Brexit referendum but without a proper plan in place if the leave side was to win the referendum.
The fact is that Norway and Turkey haven’t got unique trade relationships with the European Union as Norway are part of the European Economic Area (EEA) which celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, which has allowed countries which are not member states of the European Union that are in Europe, to have free trade with member states of the European Union. This has been facilitated with countries such as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein being part of the single market but not the political customs union. This also begs the question to what I discussed earlier: why hasn’t Theresa May negotiated a Norway style deal which would allow Britain to be part of the European Economic Area (EEA) which would mean that they would be part of the single market. Turkey has a different kind of trade relationship with the European Union. Turkey has a free trade relationship with the European Union which is basically a free tariff relationship on both sides. The relationship between the European Union and Turkey has increased for many years with the migrant deal being proof of this. There has also been recent talk of visa free travel from Turkey to member states of the European Union and vice versa. Overall, it’s embarrassing that Theresa May hasn’t been able to deliver a sufficient Brexit deal like that of Norway or Turkey who have close relationships with the European Union but are not member states of the European Union.
The lesson on Brexit is, plan before you execute.
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