The EU referendum debate last Friday brought out an important point about leaving a union of which you are already a member. A similar argument applies to Scotland leaving the UK as well.
Lord Shipley in a very well informed contribution made the point that leaving the EU could make the UK more, not less dependent. The same applies to Scotland leaving the UK as the Governor of the Bank of England pointed out.
Lord Shipley said:
“Norway is often cited publicly as a parallel for the United Kingdom. Inside the European Economic Area it may be, but it has no direct power in the EU, it has no seat at the table and it cannot vote. However, it still has to abide by directives just as full members do. Indeed, Norway has to implement three-quarters of all EU legislation, including the working time directive. It has to implement other employment laws—consumer protection, environmental policy and competition—and has to contribute to EU budgets. Norway’s per capita contribution is just over £100; the UK’s net per capita contribution is £128. If we join the EEA, there will be little saving in practice for us.
Switzerland is often cited as another example that we might emulate, but it has no right of access to the single market and it has to negotiate each and every case separately. Even Switzerland contributes to EU budgets at £53 per capita. If we left the EU, it is possible that we could operate with a most-favoured-nation status, but that would mean that 90% of UK exports to the EU by value would face tariffs. If we were in the EEA, trade would be tariff free and, as with Norway, the four freedoms relating to the movement of goods, services, labour and capital would apply, along with the implementation of three-quarters of EU legislation over which, as I have explained, we would have no say.”
Go to column 1494 to see his contribution.