David Cameron this week said that Britain should not seek to emulate Norway by putting itself outside the European Union. In fact, Norway is happy and free outside. If anything, we would like an even looser relationship with the EU.
The opposition to EU membership in Norway is stronger than ever. The main arguments for staying out are retaining our sovereignty and the democratic deficit of the EU. Still, Norway would be even better off by replacing our current European Economic Area (EEA) agreement with a bilateral trade agreement with the EU.
At referendums in 1972 and 1994, Norwegian voters rejected EU membership. Today 70 per cent say “No” to the EU. The most important issue for No to the EU is that democratic values, nationally and locally, are best retained outside the EU.
Norway is by no means alone outside the Union, even though Brussels likes to portray itself as the centre of everything. On the contrary, most of the important international cooperation on the environment, solidarity and peace takes place outside of the EU. Our neighbours Sweden, Denmark and Finland are all EU members and have lost their place at the diplomatic table, as EU negotiates on behalf of the member states. Norway, on the other hand, is actively participating as an independent state……..