A Union flag, also known as a Union Jack, right, sits next to European Union (EU) flags outside the European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Brexit talks risk being torpedoed by the taboo issue of the European Court of Justice, a senior British official said, as the U.K. downplayed expectations of a breakthrough when Prime Minister Theresa May meets European officials in Brussels on Monday. Photographer: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

Sir, It is not correct that the UK would play “no role” in the drafting of new single market EU laws if we rejoin the European Free Trade Association and remain in the European Economic Area (“ Sadly, Brexit must mean leaving the EU single market, February 19).

As the Leave Alliance, Adam Smith Institute and others have pointed out in detail, a very large percentage of the laws governing the single market implement matters agreed at a global level. The UK will retake its seats on the relevant global bodies after Brexit, alongside the EU, and will have a direct role in shaping future regulations and standards before they get to the EU level.

This is in addition to the role that Efta/EEA countries already have in consultative mechanisms with the EU. Furthermore, the Efta/EEA group would inevitably be turbo-charged by the UK’s membership, offering the realistic prospect of reform of the EEA agreement towards the balanced relationship originally promised to Efta states in 1989 by Jacques Delors.

Future historians will look back in amazement at the fact that this pragmatic option, which could bring much of the country together, has still not been properly debated in parliament, and has been successfully sidelined by a series of overly simplified soundbites, despite these having been addressed in a detailed exit plan by a key strand of Leave opinion.

Julian Boswall
St Brides-super-Ely,
Vale of Glamorgan, UK

Letter in response to this letter:

Efta/EEA and the realities of economic integration / From Corrado Pirzio-Biroli, Brussels, Belgium

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