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Stuart Foster #FBPE @Stuart7610
, 25 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
1/ I am, and always will be a remainer, a passionate Eurofile who believes we should never have left the EU. However, over the past nine months I have concluded that our best way forward is to leave, and to join EFTA and stay in the EEA.
2/ This is correctly known as the EFTA/EEA option, or sometimes more loosely as the Norway Model.
3/ More information about EFTA/EEA is available from @LeaveHQ, @EFTA4UK, @Petenorth303 and at
3(a)/ But in outline, it means joining EFTA, staying in the Single Market, and leaving the customs union.
4/ At first, I would not accept the result of the referendum. Both the Remain and Leave campaigns were mendacious and deceitful, and the level of debate was appalling, often descending into meaningless slanging matches that were not worth listening to.
5/ But Vote Leave was the worst: Turkey about to join the EU, that infamous bus, the EU will give us a fantastically special trade deal, and who needs the EU anyway because the rest of the world is queueing up to do business with us once we leave.
6/ How could a vote to leave have any validity when achieved on the back of such lies and such Lalaland economics? The promises of better standards of living outside the EU particularly stuck in my craw.
7/ But since the vote, two things have happened. First, Turkey did not join, and the bus has been rubbished. Secondly, it has become painfully apparent that we will not get the fantastically special trade deal we were promised. The gloss has come off VoteLeave.
8/ And as for those wonderful trade deals to be had outside the EU, Fox has got precisely nothing to show for two years in office – so the reality of this remains unknown and, in my view, nebulous.
9/ Yet, despite the above, and despite Remain having the best of the publicity since the vote, the polls have not moved significantly.
10/ The last poll I saw from @britain_elects had Remain on 45% and leave on 42%. This is not a significant shift, and this fact is instructive.
11/ Moreover, Despite Corbyn’s support for #hardbrexit, Labour is still doing well in the polls, from which I must conclude, sadly, that many remainers are happy to vote for the #brexit Labour party.
12/ Given the above, I have concluded that there is widespread and deep-seated opposition to our being an EU member. Even as the consequences of leaving are becoming clearer, people still want to leave.
13/ I suspect the reason is a combination of the sovereignty and immigration issues. I totally reject both these arguments, but membership of a supranational body such as the EU must have the broad consent of the population. In the case of the UK, it does not.
14/ So how do I respond to this? One approach would be to sabotage #Brexit to ensure we get as bad a deal as possible, in the hope that people will want to rejoin in order to escape the pain of leaving.
15/ But this is risky. The leaver loons would blame any such repercussions on EU intransigence, which would of course have the opposite effect to that which I desired. They are already shaping up for this as Moron May drives us towards a hard #brexit without my help.
16/ But more pertinently, a #hardbrexit will bring back the scourge of unemployment, blighting our young people’s prospects, and leaving children to go hungry. I could not be a part of such an act of extreme cynicism and inhumanity in order to get what I want
17/ So a compromise must be found that gets us out of the EU, but broadly preserves our economy. EFTA/EEA will achieve this. I will not repeat the detail of how it works, as you can find this on, but will give a personal summary.
18/ Leaving the EU has brought three catastrophes: political, economic and personal. The political catastrophe is to do with our standing on the world stage. We voted to ditch this, so we must take the consequences. It’s gone.
19/ But the economic catastrophe can be greatly mitigated by EFTA/EEA. By staying in the Single Market and leaving the customs union, we can, economically at least, get as near to having our cake and eating it as we can.
20/ Freedom of movement is an issue with EFTA/EEA, but there are provisions in the EEA treaty to manage this, and there is a lot the govt can do to help impacted communities, which it has totally failed to do over the past few years since immigration rose.
21/Regarding that cake, we can preserve our trade with the single market, worth over £200 billion per year, while making those trade deals with countries outside the EU that leavers have promised will bring us so much business. Sound good Liam?
22/ The personal catastrophe for me is the freedom to travel to and live in the EU. @PeteNorth303 has rather high-handedly dismissed this as a perk. Well, perk it may be, but it is one I, and many others who holiday on the
23/ But these travel and residency rights apply to nationals of the EFTA/EEA countries as well as to those of EU countries. So EFTA/EEA preserves these rights for us.
24/ This is of course all a compromise. It would have been far better if we had not voted to leave, and the vote is certainly a very foolish mistake. But it happened, and there is little or no regret over it among Leave voters.. Continued in next thread
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