GORDON Brown yesterday claimed the damage to the UK’s standing caused by Brexit was worse than the Suez crisis as he recommended that Britain should adopt a Norway-style relationship with the EU.
The former Prime Minister said the UK must “seriously consider” the Norway option and warned that the economic case for Scottish independence had become more challenging.
Mr Brown said exports to rest of UK are worth £48.5 billion compared with £11.6 billion to EU. Some 250,000 jobs are linked to the European single market compared with one million that are linked to the UK market.
All options must be considered, Mr Brown said, including the “Norway option”. Although not a EU member, Norway pays heavily for access to the single market.
Mr Brown added: “This has been the biggest set-back for our international position – even bigger I believe than the crisis at Suez 60 years ago.
“At least after Suez we had the option of joining the European Union, exactly what has been closed off .”
What is the Norway model?
The Norway Model has been suggested as a potential post-Brexit option for the UK, but just what status does the Scandinavian country enjoy?
It is a member of European Economic Area (EEA) – along with the 28 current EU members, Liechtenstein and Iceland – with full access to single market and is obliged to make a financial contribution and accept most EU laws, such as free movement.
It pays a contribution to the EU budget and has to sign up to all its rules –including its common regulations and standards.
The downside is that it has no say over how the rules of the single market are created.