The European Economic Area agreement of 1994 gives three countries, Norway, Iceland and Lichetenstein, access to the single market without them having to be a member of the EU. As a matter of law, it would, of course, be possible for the UK remain a member of the EEA as a non-EU Member State by agreement. If you're joining your EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member You can apply to join your EU, EEA or Swiss family member if they started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. As Brexit negotiations get underway, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see how the UK can pursue its former “have your cake and eat it” strategy, particularly when it comes to a trade deal. This includes all of the addresses on each of the products you have with us. If you are a citizen of one of the EEA countries, but not the UK, and you also have citizenship of another non-EEA country, you will be able to come to the UK under European law. [14], Given Scotland's vote in the 2016 referendum to remain in the EU, contrasted with that of the UK as a whole, Can I keep the accounts open? The UK ceased to be a Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement after its withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, as it was a member of the EEA by virtue of its EU membership, but retained EEA rights during the Brexit transition period, based on Article 126 of the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK. But even if that is not so legally, it may take a long time to persuade the other members of the EEA that the UK remains a participant, … [7][8] Some EU law originates from various international bodies on which non-EU EEA countries have a seat. Drop in UK payments to EU by at least 55% although this figure could be much higher if the UK decided not to opt into a number of EU projects that the Norwegians wanted to join. Tweet. But joining the EEA and remaining part of the Single Market is the best available option, as it would minimise the disruption to the status quo and keep the UK closely integrated with the rest of Europe. It will no longer be lawful to transfer personal data from the remaining EU Member States to the UK without additional legal protections (e.g., consent, or contractual safeguards). It is referred to as ‘Norway Plus’ because as well as joining EFTA, under this scenario, the UK would also seek to remain in the EU Customs Union. This agreement largely mirrors the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU. During the transition, the EEA agreement will remain unchanged, and continue to apply as before, to both the remaining EEA members and the United Kingdom, as the UK will continue to be treated as if an EEA state. The EEA is well established and the obligations and benefits are clear. Iceland’s Former PM Suggests UK Join EEA “Temporarily” To Avoid No-Deal Brexit Crisis. Andie Sophia Fontaine. However, their non-European Economic Area (EEA) family members will require immigration permission to enter, reside and work. The president of Switzerland Johann Schneider-Ammann stated that the UK's return would strengthen the association. Background. Norway's European affairs minister, Elisabeth Vik Aspaker, told the Aftenposten newspaper: "It's not certain that it would be a good idea to let a big country into this organisation. Under the EEA Agreement, the UK would not necessarily be subject to European Court of Justice rulings but possibly also the EFTA Court, which resolves disputes under the EEA Agreement regarding EFTA Member States. We reserve the right to refuse membership to anyone deemed to fall short of these standards You must be able to abide by the professional standards expected of EEA members as outlined in our Code of Conduct. A veto from one country affects the other countries: letting the UK join Efta and the EEC agreement to veto parts of it could undermine the agreement for all of us. Procedurally, in order to become a member of the EEA after « the (EU) Treaties shall cease to apply » to … Copyright © 2010–2021, The Conversation US, Inc. It would be subject in all such trade agreement to regulatory compliance equivalence with the EEA standards if it wishes to have access to the single market. Even with DUP support, May still only has a two-vote majority. Membership would mean in effect being a member of the single market, free movement, and being bound by substantial parts of EU law, indirectly, with a reduced capacity to actually influence that law. EEA membership would also address important aspects of one of the trickier dilemmas for the UK: how to deal with the Irish border after Brexit. They are from outside the EEA or Switzerland. [10][11], A 2013 research paper presented to the Parliament of the United Kingdom proposed a number of alternatives to EU membership which would continue to allow it access to the EU's internal market, including continuing EEA membership as an EFTA member state, or the Swiss model of a number of bilateral treaties covering the provisions of the single market.[12]. The UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have today signed the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement. Erna Solberg told the Financial Times in an interview that the Nordic country was prepared to see the UK join the EEA, conceding that the option was “on … When the UK withdraws from the EU, the most likely legal position is that the UK will also fall out of the EEA and will therefore not be able to participate as an EEA member in the single market. Non-EEA nationals need an entry visa or approval letter to join a UK national family member; UK nationals can sponsor qualified non-EEA family members to live in Ireland; The new rules apply to non-EEA family members moving to Ireland after December 31, 2020 ; Non-EEA family members must apply from outside Ireland using the online AVATS portal; Applicants must receive a Join … EFTA states are not part of the EU Customs Union as outlined above. For instance, one of our clients, Jean, … It could then participate in the EEA agreement, a dynamic arrangement bringing together the EFTA member states with the EU in a single market. Which I don’t see happening any time soon. The obvious question for many is if the UK were to join the EEA, what exactly was the point of the referendum? Read more. It should be sold to the British public by repeatedly saying, “we are going back to the Common Market”. It could then participate in the EEA agreement , a dynamic arrangement bringing together the EFTA member states with the EU in … The UK would withdraw from the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EFA Joint Committee. The EEA family permit will soon be replaced … The new rules apply to non-EEA family members moving to Ireland after December 31, 2020. The EEA Agreement was signed in Porto on 2 May 1992, and came into force on 1 January 1994. Not saying it will definitely happen this way but it’s a likely enough scenario. It would shift the balance, which is not necessarily in Norway's interests". By Laura Whitcombe 07:17 … The EEA agreement meets several of Theresa May’s apparent negotiating red lines – no part of the UK would remain in the EU; no part of the UK would be subject to ever-closer union; no part of the UK would be subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice. Before the election, the UK government rejected the EEA option. One alternative option is to secure continued participation in the European Economic Area (EEA). The person must be a closely related member of any other EEA person in the UK. the EEA citizen you’re joining is in the UK already or travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application; The person you’re joining must also either be: an EEA or Swiss citizen with ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme; an Irish citizen Could she bring all her backbenchers along with her in support of UK membership in the EEA? This route will lead to settlement. [1] During the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020,[2] the UK and EU negotiated their future relationship. EU-UK institutional framework; This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 22:39 (UTC). The UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have today signed the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement. With the EEA, the economic situation and trading environment that EU membership has delivered would remain substantially unchanged, allowing much of the status quo regarding the EU single market to be maintained as far as the UK is concerned. the EEA citizen you’re joining is in the UK already or travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application The person you’re joining must also either be: an EEA or Swiss citizen with ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme The UK quit EFTA in 1972 but has the option of rejoining the group and then becoming part of the EEA as an EFTA member. Published August 28, 2019. What is the single market? What is the EEA and could Britain join it? The Separation Agreement mirrors the relevant parts of the EU–UK Withdrawal Agreement. Included in these changes are provisions in Appendix EU which allow EEA or Swiss citizens resident in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 to be joined by their family members under … It introduces a new way of working together and creating knowledge — more agile, more responsive, more pro-active, more actionable — befitting the challenges we will face and the knowledge we will need in the decade to come. Although inside the EEA single market, the UK would be outside the customs union. Membership of the EEA is a consequence of membership of the European Union (EU). Non-EEA family members who are outside the UK will be entitled to apply for a Family Permit which allows them to come to the UK to join their EEA family members who reside in the UK. Despite being administered by the Home Office, EEA family permits are issued under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 and not UK Immigration Rules. In this scenario, the UK would seek to remain a part of the EEA via joining EFTA. The EFTA members of the EEA and the UK signed a Separation Agreement on 28 January 2020. If you are involved in Energy Efficiency your business can become a member of the Energy Efficiency Association. It’s less clear whether Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein would be happy to let the UK into the EEA – why let the cuckoo into the nest a second time? Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. NORWAY’s Prime Minister has urged the UK to join the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit, claiming there are “cost and benefits” that will give Oslo and London “bargaining power”. He is a practising barrister and represented Northern Ireland parties in the Agnew Brexit case before the Supreme Court. So much for “taking back control”. The EEA aims to support sustainable development by helping to achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment, through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable … But perhaps the sheer impossibility of achieving the UK government’s contradictory wish list will result in a decision to adopt the most sensible option of all: remaining in the EU. This agreement largely mirrors the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU. The European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) - which countries are in the EU and EEA, the single market and free movement of goods, capital, services and people He is also a member of the European Commission's expert network on equality directives. I personally don’t want the UK anywhere near the EU unless there’s an overwhelming support on a massive turnout that favours such idea (70% on 70% sounds about right). [13] However, in August 2016 the Norwegian Government expressed reservations. [3], Following the completion of its withdrawal from the EU, the UK could have sought to continue to be a member of the EEA through mechanisms available to members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The UK would withdraw from the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EEA family permit would still be applicable allowing applicants to come to the UK provided they meet the following conditions. Neither the EU, nor its current 28 member States, are members of EFTA. Economically, none of the options facing the UK is preferable to staying in the EU. The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union, whose task is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. In the first meeting since the Brexit vote, EFTA reacted by stating that it was open to the prospect of the UK rejoining the association, but that the UK has many issues to work through. This is not, however, explicitly stated in the EEA Agre… In January 2017, Theresa May announced a 12-point plan of negotiating objectives and confirmed that the British government would not seek continued permanent membership in the European Single Market,[4] leaving open an option of retaining EEA membership for a-one year transition period after EU exit day (originally 29 March 2019, postponed to 12 April and then to 31 October, before finally occurring on 31 January 2020). The EU-27’s position is that dealing with the Irish problem is one of three “divorce” issues on which substantial progress must be made before future relations between the UK and the EU can be addressed, including any free trade agreement. Non-EEA nationals need an entry visa or approval letter to join a UK national family member. The UK and EEA EFTA States adopted rules of procedure for the Joint Committee. Given the importance the new UK government – and at least part of the UK public – attaches to imposing controls on immigration fro… The EU rejects the UK’s latest offer of 40 billion, saying it isn’t enough. Only EU or EFTA members can currently become members of the EEA, meaning if Britain wants to secure full access to the single market after Brexit, joining EFTA is the logical route. UK nationals can sponsor qualified non-EEA family members to live in Ireland. The answer is yes. As a model, EEA/EFTA keeps the benefits of the single market, yet takes the UK out of the common agriculture and fisheries policies. Non-EEA family members who are outside the UK will be entitled to apply for a Family Permit which allows them to come to the UK to join their EEA family members who reside in the UK. The EU rejects the UK’s latest offer of 40 billion, saying it isn’t enough. Economic Union but not Political Union. This follows from the two-pillar structure and Article 126 of the EEA Agreement, which states that the EEA Agreement applies to the territory of the EU and the three EEA EFTA States. … Here’s a prediction. The UK tries one more time and ups the offer a bit more. I don’t have an EEA address, so this must be associated with one of the people on my joint accounts. Norwegian PM dismisses calls for Britain to join the EEA as a 'holding position' if there is no Brexit deal - as May again rules out the option The Prime … Irish authorities have now published full details of the new pre-clearance scheme for non-EEA family members of UK … After Brexit, the UK, not being a member of EFTA, and not anymore an EU member, could not be an EEA member and could not be a candidate to become one. The UK was a co-founder of EFTA in 1960, but ceased to be a member in 1973 upon joining the EC, which became the EU. Even assuming that the UK is able to formulate a coherent negotiating position, will it long survive, or will the government’s internal contradictions lead to a breakdown of the negotiations with the EU-27? Decisions are taken by joint EEA bodies (the EEA Council, the EEA Joint Committee, the EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee and the EEA Consultative Committee). They are a family member of an EEA (excluding UK nationals) or Swiss national. So why has this idea suddenly become a more tempting? The United Kingdom could be allowed by other member states to join the EEA and EFTA but existing EEA members such as Norway would have concerns about taking the risk of opening a difficult negotiation with the EU that could lead … This means, of course, that if even a small group of hard-line Brexiters revolt, she will be defeated when she presents her Brexit deal to parliament. The EEA Agreement (EU and EFTA members except Switzerland) does not cover Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies, the EU Customs Union, the Common Trade Policy, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, direct and indirect taxation, and Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters, leaving EFTA members free to set their own policies in these areas;[9] however, EEA countries are required to contribute to the EU Budget in exchange for access to the internal market. ", "Frequently asked questions on EFTA, the EEA, EFTA membership and Brexit | European Free Trade Association", "Theresa May confirms Britain will leave Single Market as she sets out 12-point Brexit plan", "EFTA Bulletin Decision Shaping in the European Economic Area", "Fax democracy? If the UK does not join the EEA, then the GDPR will no longer apply in the UK. The Statement of Changes In Immigration Rules HC 813, published on 22 October 2020, sets out significant changes to the Immigration Rules. Countries inside the EU allow the free movement of goods, people, services and … So, May seems on the horns of several very painful dilemmas. Christopher McCrudden is Professor of Law Queen's University Belfast. [15] However, other EFTA states have stated that only sovereign states are eligible for membership, so Scotland could only join if it became independent from the UK.[16]. An important attraction of the EEA option is that it is a known quantity. The UK and EEA EFTA States adopted rules of procedure for the Joint Committee. Membership of the EEA is a consequence of membership of the European Union (EU). The UK would withdraw from the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Article 126 of the EEA Agreement provides that the EEA Agreement shall apply to the territories establishing the European Economic Community (now the EU) and to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The UK would withdraw from the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Some of the most ardent Brexiteers want a totally clean break from the EU. The United Kingdom (UK) was a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2020, following the coming into force of the 1992 EEA Agreement (as adjusted by a 1993 protocol). As an EEA member, Britain would not have these safeguards. Yes, you can rejoin the EU in the future. To some it seems like the most sensible option, but it would antagonise the hard Brexiteers. Here’s a prediction. This is the arrangement that was originally established in 1994 to extend the single market to Austria, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Sweden. It’s very possible that the EU member states would be on board with this option – the arrangement has worked well with Norway. It defines the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EFTA during the transition period. This model is in essence, what the UK voted to join back in the 1970s. Such clarity is not available under any other Brexit deal at the moment, at least until trade negotiations are complete, which may take a very long time. The United Kingdom (UK) ceased to be a Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement after its withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020. If UK was to join EFTA, it could not readily enter its own trade agreements. Bring them to the cliff edge, and perhaps they will see the logic of not jumping off. Will they still be able to apply for an EEA family permit? How is it different from the EEA? It should … Questions have been raised as to whether a state that withdraws from the EU automatically withdraws from the EEA, or whether such a withdrawal requires notice under Article 127 of the EEA Agreement[5] – and, if the courts so decide, whether such notice given by the UK would require an Act of Parliament. But it’s not out of the question. the Scottish Government has looked into methods of retaining access to or membership of the EEA. Under this model, the UK would leave both the customs union and the single market. The UK would withdraw from the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). He or she should not be the citizen of UK and from the other country. Switzerland set up several dialogues with the UK: (1) a so-called Continuity Dialogue which deals with horizontal issues and oversees progress in each area, and (2) Specific Dialogues in areas currently … It could then participate in the EEA agreement , a dynamic … The EFTA Convention from January 1960 states that any country may join EFTA … It could then participate in the EEA agreement , a dynamic … Not saying it will definitely happen this way but it’s a likely enough scenario. One option open to Britain to keep free trade after Brexit would be to leave the EU but remain a member of the EEA. The European Economic Area (EEA) family permit scheme can be used by non-EEA citizens to join EEA family members living in the UK. At a Glance UK citizens will have an unrestricted right to reside and work in Ireland after December 31, 2020. They also set the date from which so-called ‘triangulation’ will apply to 1 January 2021. EFTA membership does not entail EEA membership, but only EU and EFTA member states can currently be contracting parties to the EEA Agreement. B. Non-EU countries are expected to adhere to EU laws covering the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital, but legal disputes go to the EFTA court, not the EU’s Court of Justice. Can the UK stay in after Brexit? Is the UK Going to Join the EEA as a post-Brexit Backstop? British membership of the European Economic Area, Proposed European Constitution referendum, Department for Exiting the European Union, United Kingdom opt-outs from EU legislation, Opinion polling on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union, R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Continuing United Kingdom relationship with the European Union, European Union (Future Relationship) Bill, Effect on Scotland's constitutional position, Trade deal negotiation between the UK and EU, EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), Proposed second Scottish independence referendum, Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies, Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters, "Frequently asked questions on EFTA, the EEA, EFTA membership and Brexit", "How will the Brexit transition period work? Discussions with the UK on the implications of its withdrawal from the EU for EEA EFTA-UK relations were launched in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum. 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