After recent EU meetings and Mr. Cameron’s very clear message, perhaps it is time to reconsider the UK’s connection to the Union. Since all the other countries chose to follow the German / French initiative, the UK is left in if not hopeless so a rather difficult position. Perhaps a good idea to start discussing with Norway in joining the EFTA and European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement. Even though a vast majority of the Norwegian elite wants to join the Union, it is further from happening than it’s ever been. So facing realties, Norway will not become a member and with UK as a new partner it would strengthen the alliance significantly. With both countries located in/to the North Sea with far more in common in all aspects, than most countries it could turn out as a quite good idea!
Historically Norway and Switzerland were among the founding Member States of EFTA in 1960. Iceland joined EFTA in 1970, followed by Liechtenstein in 1991. Norway, Iceland (from 1994) and Liechtenstein (from 1995) are also parties to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement with the European Union, while Switzerland has signed a set of bilateral agreements with the EU*.
Although the four EFTA countries are small, they are world leaders in several sectors vital to the global economy. The two EFTA Alpine countries – Liechtenstein and Switzerland – are internationally renowned financial centres and hosts to major companies and multinationals. The two EFTA Nordic countries – Iceland and Norway – stand out in fish production, the metal industry and maritime transport.