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Børge Brende: ‘There has been a consensus in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market.’ [Image: Mark R. Cristino/EPA.]

Børge Brende: ‘There has been a consensus in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market.’ [Image: Mark R. Cristino/EPA.]

Mr Brende is very probably correct; the Norwegian model works for Norway because so many of its exports go directly into the EU; UK businesspeople want to expand their markets outside that bloc.

Also, with Norway paying into the EU for access to the single market, and implementing the now-infamous ‘four freedoms’, including free movement of people across borders, ‘Leave’ voters would be justified in asking how, exactly, their wishes would have been obeyed if the UK follows suit.

This Writer is slipping into the belief that, if ‘Brexit’ is to take place, then it must indeed mean ‘Brexit’, as Mrs May is constantly telling us; her ministers should stop trying to negotiate some all-encompassing deal with the European Union as a whole and get down to individual deals with individual member states.

That will certainly mean hiring a few more civil servants – but that is the price a Conservative Government must pay if it is to be considered democratic.

We can judge Mrs May and her gang on their choices.

Britain must understand that there is no “silver bullet” over Brexit that would permit single market access without paying into the EU and being bound by some of its rules, Norway’s foreign minister has warned ahead of a meeting in London.

Børge Brende, who was due to meet his UK counterpart, Boris Johnson, on Monday, as well as the Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, said his country’s model of access to the single market without being part of the EU was seen there as a success.

This did not mean it would necessarily work as well for the UK, Brende told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We were very clear that there is no silver bullet in this context,” he said. “Being a part of the single market, as we are, also means to implement all directives, and we are not in the room when these directives are decided on.

“But there has been a consensus around this in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market, and that is what we have to contribute. On top of this we also do funding for countries in the EU that are the new members, but also those that are facing the biggest challenges when it comes to development.

Asked if the single market choice facing Britain was the same – to have more control or to be richer – Brende said Norway’s access to the single market since 1992 “had served our country well”, with 70% of its exports going to the EU.

Brende added: “We have also implemented all the four freedoms,” referring to the single market principles of the free movement across borders of goods, people, services and capital.

Source: Norway tells Britain: no Brexit ‘silver bullet’ over single market access | Politics | The Guardian

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