Norwegian officials have warned that they could block the UK’s attempt of rejoining European Free Trade Association consists of nations that have access to European single market without being part of the European Union.
According to Independent, Some Brexit supporters have suggested to rejoining the EFTA would be a way for the UK to maintain its free trade links with the Europe while honoring its referendum commitment to leave.
However, the UK' decision of rejoining the EFTA will not be as easy as it seemed. Because joining the ETFA requires the agreement of all its members –Norway, Switzerland, Island and Liechtenstein- and Norway is the largest economy in the association.
"It’s not certain that it would be a good idea to let a big country [the UK] into this organization," Elisabeth Vik Aspaker, Norway’s European Affairs Minister, told the Aftenpost newspaper "It would shift the balance, which is not necessarily in Norway’s interests."
As is known, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg suggested British people to resist voting for Brexit in referendum. “Do not leave the EU. You will hate it.” she also said.
In 1972 and 1994, Norwegian people said ‘no’ twice in referendum for joining European Union. Because they believe this membership was a threat to their national sovereignty and also the fishing industry and agriculture could suffer from that. Fishing is extremely important to the Norwegian economy, especially for coastal areas. It is the second largest industry in our country, after oil.
Independent adds Britain was a founding member of EFTA in 1960 when it was conceived as an appendage to the European Economic Community (EEC), but left when it joined the EU in 1973.
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