Conservative Manifesto: Leaving the single market

Published: 18th May 2017

"What we want is to have a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union [...] But you can't be a member of the single market without effectively still being a member of the European Union."

  • Technically a non-EU member can be in the single market, but that does require following a lot of EU rules.
  • The European Economic Area Agreement makes Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein part of the single market but not members of the EU. The EEA countries also take part in various EU programmes and agencies.
  • They keep out of activities such as the Common Agricultural and Fisheries policies, and can make their own trade agreements.
  • But this arrangement means accepting rules set by the EU. A major report for the Norwegian government has said that "Norway is in practice bound to adopt EU policies and rules on a broad range of issues without being a member and without voting rights".
  • In particular, EEA membership includes accepting free movement of people (except for Liechtenstein) and paying - aspects of EU membership often said to have been rejected in last June’s referendum.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Conservative party manifesto launch. Read the roundup.


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