Cicero hosts Brexit event with ‘Norway Plus’ chief proponent Nick Boles MP

Cicero was thrilled to welcome Nick Boles MP, chief proponent of the ‘Norway Plus’ alternative Brexit plan, for an exclusive event. The session allowed Mr Boles to introduce his the proposal, which reportedly has the backing of several cabinet ministers.

The ‘Norway Plus’ approach, outlined in full in this article for the Financial Times, would see the UK joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the EFTA element of the European Economic Area (EEA), maintaining the UK’s customs union and single market access while moving outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the EU’s drive to ‘ever closer union’.

Mr Boles described the approach as the “genuinely only” option that will ensure the UK maintains ‘frictionless trade’ with the EU, with no predicted economic hit from the alternative arrangement because it would not require new customs checks.

While there would be opposition to ‘Norway Plus’s continued membership of the single market, and the commitment to free movement of people, he argued that a small majority could be achieved within Parliament for the plan. Its support would depend on all other options, including the Prime Minister’s agreed approach, a plan backed by the Labour party leadership, and a potential second referendum, all having failed first, leaving “one shot” for Norway Plus to be approved.

Mr Boles added that a second referendum would never be backed by Conservative MPs like himself. Any Tory leader would “be out by lunchtime” if they attempted to bring forward a second referendum, which would need to be enacted in an Act of Parliament, meaning it could not be forced by opposition parties uniting. He added that he could not countenance voting for a ‘No deal’ Brexit given the economic damage this would cause, rating the UK’s chances of crashing out without a deal at only 10%.

This event was chaired by Cicero Executive Chairman Iain Anderson. Please do get in touch if you would like to be invited to similar events.

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Iain Anderson

Executive Chairman

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