Yesterday, in the House of Commons, David Cameron repeated his dismissal of the ‘Norway Option’ as an alternative form of membership of the European Union, stating that Norway has no seat at the table and no ability to negotiate – something he repeated on Facebook.
Readers will recall my handing David Cameron a ‘dossier‘, during a meeting at his constituency office in Witney. Readers will also recall that in his response he stated that he could not agree with a number of the points I made, eventually informing me that he was drawing our correspondence to a close. In that dossier facts were presented to David Cameron which showed that Norway does have a seat at top tables and does have the ability to negotiate as a result of being heavily involved in the various stages by which EU law is implemented.
If David Cameron will not take on board my views, then perhaps he will those of the EFTA website and the words of an eminent authority on matters EU. In respect of the latter, permission from that authority was sought and given for me to forward David Cameron a copy of FlexCit. While FlexCit is a comprehensive explanation of how the UK can disengage from the EU, there are further references to fact in relation to Norway’s relationship with the EU. Norway does not have a vote within the EU, that is a well known fact and one that is not disputed; but Norway does not need a vote as by the time the EU implements ‘law’, said ‘law’ has already been agreed within United Nations bodies with Norway having had a seat at the table where such law was formulated; coupled with the fact that the EU is mandated to consult with EFTA on the implementation of EU law. In this regard it is worth mentioning page 204 of FlexCit which provides an example of Norway’s ‘influence’ where the formation of EU law is concerned.
That David Cameron continues to misrepresent the position of Norway in respect of her dealings with the European Union (no, let us be brutally honest: he continues to lie) cannot be allowed to continue. To this end I felt duty bound to yet again email David Cameron; the text of which follows:
Dear Mr. Cameron,
Following my move to Co Durham it is acknowedged that you are no longer my Member of Parliament, however you are the Prime Minister of this country and if we are to have any vestige of democracy then any member of the electorate must have the opportunity of contacting you in order to hold you to account; and expect to receive the courtesy of a detailed reply.
Over the last few days you have been quite vociferous on the question of what is known as the ‘Norway Option’, maintaining that country has no seat at the table and has no ability to negotiate. You are also on record as stating that Norway pays as much per head to the EU as do we.
You and I know that those statements are a misrepresentation of the facts – in truth, ‘misrepresentation’ is perhaps the wrong word to use as it is plain that you have been less than candid.
To deal with the last point first: as has been pointed out elsewhere, the Norwegian government’s own figures show that its total EU mandated payments (gross) are approximately £435m (€600m) per annum. With a population of five million, that is approximately £86 (€120) per head (gross). Net payments, however, are about £340m (€470m) per annum, or about £68 (€94) per head. In 2014, the UK gross contributions to the EU were £19.2bn, less £4.9bn rebate. That gives an equivalent gross payment of £14.3bn. After rebates and other receipts, our net contribution was £9.8 bn. With a population of 64 million, that puts our gross contribution (without rebate) at £300 per head, our equivalent gross payment at £223 per head, and our net per capita payment £153 per annum – more than twice the Norwegian payments.
You are also on record as stating that Norway pays but has no say [on the rules] – that statement competely denies the huge amount of consultation by EFTA states within the EEA decision making process (see attachment)
.You maintain that Norway is not present at the table where decisions are taken. This overlooks the influence that Norway exerts on global bodies – for example UNECE and Codex – which is where law emanates in the form of dual international quasi-legislation, or diqules. These are then handed down to countries and trade blocs, such as the EU, for implementation.
As someone who wishes fervently to cease our membership of the EU it pains me greatly to observe the paucity of the arguments being presented by the, so far, two groups vying to become the ‘lead’ organisation in the forthcoming referendum. Both exhibit a common trait with you, in that none of you appear to know that about which you speak and write.
As a further attachment please find a copy of FlexCit, the work of an eminent authority on the European Union, namely Dr. Richard North. This work explains how this country can exit the EU painlessly (the Norway Option being but the first – and temporary – step, thus allowing businesses to retain access to the single market, while the lengthy process of unpicking 40 years of our enforced membership is carried out).
While FlexCit will undoubtedly increase your understanding of matters EU and global governance, especially where the subject of Norway and her influence is concerned; it will also mean that, having read it, your need to be less than candid will become unnecessary.
Needless to say any response from David Cameron will, as usual, be made public on this blog.