Anyone from (or knowledgeable about) Norway or Switzerland?

(17 Posts)
CutYourHairAndGetAJob Wed 29-Jun-16 16:13:34

I keep hearing that one solution to brexit could be to become like Norway or Switzerland - members of the eea but not of the EU. I understand that this means that they have access to the common market and in return have to allow free movement across their borders with the EU (correct me if I'm wrong). Which sounds pretty similar to being in the EU .

I just wondered what that would be like in practice? Do most Swiss/ Norwegian people think they have a good deal or would they prefer to be in the EU?

wowfudge Wed 29-Jun-16 16:19:39

Both places are more expensive than the UK for things like food.

Bogoffdailymail Wed 29-Jun-16 16:21:25

They also both pay for access to the free market but don't get any rebates or influence in the EU

Mistigri Wed 29-Jun-16 16:23:19

The Swiss and Norway deals are rather different actually, although they have the same obligations in terms of free movement and are both in the Schenghen area.

The Swiss deal is complex and has been tailored to suit the Swiss economy over many years of negotiation - it wouldn't be applicable to the UK (especially the UK's large financial services sector), we'd need our own tailored deal. Unfortunately there are obvious political obstacles to this and it would probably be hard to achieve in the very short time frame allowed.

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Wed 29-Jun-16 16:24:04

Thanks for your replies.

Do people there generally want to join the EU then? Would the EU let them join if they wanted to?

OneArt Wed 29-Jun-16 16:24:08

It would mean we wouldn't be subject to EU law. So it might appeal to voters who feel strongly on the sovereignty issue.

LIZS Wed 29-Jun-16 16:26:08

Swiss people are not keen on free movement and I believe recently voted in favour of removing it although there is huge variation in opinion between the cantons. It doesn't stop them going to France and Germany to shop as prices are cheaper.

PlatoTheGreat Wed 29-Jun-16 16:26:28

Norway thinks their deal is crap and would have loved the opportunity to be fully in the EU instead.
Thrur agreement means paying the money, free movement if keor but no Say at all on any of the decisions.

DrDreReturns Wed 29-Jun-16 16:28:50

If Swiss people are not keen on freedom of movement they wouldn't be able to join the EU.
I heard that due to their recent referendum rejecting freedom of movement some of their trade deals with the EU were going to be renegotiated.
As Mistigri alludes to we will need a deal that maintains access for our financial sector. The price of this will probably be freedom of movement.

RainYourRottingMyDhaliaBulbs Wed 29-Jun-16 16:31:33

our eccomony is 4 times bigger than swiss and 5 times bigger than norway, we have more clout than them and need deal to match

KenDoddsDadsDog Wed 29-Jun-16 16:31:34

Norway have more migrants per head from the EU than the UK. They also have refugees from Syria and other countries as other EU states do.
Food and drink , especially meat is very expensive as they're not entitled to the EU benefit discounts. My godmother and family are Norwegian , they are dead against joining the EU , can remember what the last no vote was but it was pretty high.

LIZS Wed 29-Jun-16 16:33:42

http://openeurope.org.uk/today/blog/swiss-told-to-vote-again-on-free-movement-except-this-time-the-stakes-are-higher/ A couple of years old but don't think it's changed much . Also voted recently on right to deport foreign criminals but this was rejected.

loobyloo1234 Wed 29-Jun-16 16:39:31

I believe there have been referendums in both Norway and Switzerland to join the EU - and for both, the voters said no. I think it was some time ago at least for Norway though, so their stance on joining may have changed

Coughingchildren5 Wed 29-Jun-16 16:54:15

I am from Switzerland. It is more expensive for goods and there is less variety available. Life is generally expensive but there is less reliance on benefits and people worker more and harder just to live normally. There are more shared facilities, and less ownership. There is more national pride and more mutual respect.
I don't mean this in a disparaging way, after all the UK is my home country of choice, but the UK and Switzerland are not comparable. They have completely different histories and cultures and ethics and probably different futures!

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Wed 29-Jun-16 17:38:55

Interesting replies, thanks.

Freedom of movement is a good thing in my opinion. Higher prices doesn't sound great though - is it goods imported from the eu which are expensive or everything?

Coughingchildren5 Wed 29-Jun-16 18:01:42

Generally things are more expensive and there are far fewer imports hence less variety. If you live close enough to the border it is very common to do bulk monthly shops in Germany or France as a pp said.

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Wed 29-Jun-16 18:04:00

That won't be an option for most of us, unless you live in NI - and it looks like there will be bigger problems on that border sad

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