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Ben Kelly @TheScepticIsle
, 16 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Lots of articles supporting "Norway" option recently. I've advocated EEA as the best Brexit option since 2015. My belief that we would take that route seems very naive in hindsight & chance of us taking that route now seem very remote.

How does the EEA option come about from this point? Perhaps we step away from the 'no deal' cliff edge at the last minute, extend article 50 and end up landing on the EEA as a compromise? Maybe, probably not, but anything is possible in these unstable political times I suppose.
The problem is that the EEA option has taken such a battering from the Remain and Leave side since early 2016 that opposition to it is deeply entrenched and the misconceptions about it have spread far and wide and become deeply engrained.
After the ref support for the Single Market on the euroceptic side dissipated. Then, as the debate raged on, hardline factions formed on both sides of the divide. Remainers became reversers, Leavers became totally uncompromising.

The decades old tradition of eurocepticism, "common market good, political union bad" was abandoned apart from fringe figures like the Norths, @rolandmcs me few others. It died totally in the Tories its internalParty politics have driven policy…
Theresa May's direction on Brexit has been mainly driven by appeasing the hardline faction and her apparent obession with immigration numbers - the gradual softening of her stance has been due to bungled negotiations and the harsh economic realities we face
But the softening of her stance has been built around fudged together solutions that only emphasise how much effort is being made to minimise the economic risks & create a comprhensive partnership all the while very delieberately avoiding the EEA as an option
So, realistically, how does it come about from here? Only through a major political rupture, or a change of government, or a last minute extension of Article 50 which turns into the EEA.

Quite possible, but unlikely.
The most likely solution from here in my view is that yet another fudged agreement is reached, a basic, and in places fairly ambitious, political declaration is put together and this bare bones statement will form the basis of a future Assocation Agreement.
The EEA was put together in the wake of Norway rejecting EU membership, I still believe it could work for the UK in a similar way. However, a new bespoke system of economic & political cooperation could be developed within the framework of the EU's modern Association Agreements
A tailored solution could be created as an AA is a broad framework, an "empty box" as a Cabinet source is reported to have said. What goes in it will be a matter for negotiations - which means the debate about the depth of the partnership will go on - divergence/alignmetn etc
If a strong government with a majority was able to pursue these negotiations with clear aims we could build a partnership superior to that of the EEA & more suitable for our needs - as @AndrewDuffEU has claimed - but what happens after May is ousted is up in the air
I think there will be a strong element of reinventing the wheel by negotiating a bespoke Association Agreemetn instead of pursuing the EEA, and whether or not it has a good or bad outcome depends on many variables. So the debate will rage on and on and on.
All in all, I wish we'd pursued EEA from the start, we'd be in a far better place, but damn my foolish naiviety for thinking that would be the case.
Should say ambiguous not ambitious
Also note - It cannot be a stop gap. We woul dhave to negotiate our accession which would take years to adapt the framework as best we can for our requirements. Therefore stop calling it a "safe harbour" or an interim.
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