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Trade agreements and freedom of movement

(31 Posts)
WalrusGumboot Mon 27-Jun-16 07:58:57

Hope someone more knowledgeable than me can answer this. It's been said that to agree our own trade agreements with the EU, we would have to allow the same freedom of movement that we already do.

I'm just wondering why that is, and if so, why it doesn't seem to apply to the rest of the world. The EU trades with many countries all over - do they also have to agree to this?

iisme Mon 27-Jun-16 08:05:36

We can have trade agreements without guaranteeing freedom of movement, but we can't be in the single market. Trade agreements are expensive and cumbersome compared to free trade within a single market

chantico Mon 27-Jun-16 08:06:06

It all depends on the level of market access you want, and how you define 'free movement'.

And yes, you're correct that it is possible to have many permutations of conditions on trade agreements (for example, free movement of people, free movement of workers, with or without a cappable number of work permits; tariff free trade, preferential tariff, most favoured nation, etc etc)

It's also sensible to research what the other might have as their bottom line when entering into any negotiation. There's no way - it seems - that Juncker is going to even explore anything short of free movement of people. Merkel on the other hand sounds far more pragmatic.

Because getting a good agreement makes both EU and more prosperous. So it is very much in both sides interests to get this right.

TheBathroomSink Mon 27-Jun-16 08:07:36

Some do, notably Switzerland and Norway.

Other countries have different deals, which do not allow the same unrestricted access, and do not include freedom of movement.

Joysmum Mon 27-Jun-16 09:09:15

The thing to remember with free movement of people is that this is the EU we are talking about, not the other major trade agreements in the world who don't require free movement.

The assertion that we will require acceptance of free movement for a free trade agreement comes from what other nations who have agreements with the EU have had to compromise on to get it.

So those who want a free trade agreement without this can hope for it all they want, it's not likely though.

MangoMoon Mon 27-Jun-16 09:15:48

It's down to the negotiations to get the best deal we can.
It doesn't have to be based on an existing model.

As a PP said it could be free movement of workers, which is what the original premise was.
Free movement of individuals came about after a series of legal challenges within the EU over a course of many years so not actually something we would necessarily have to accept now.

Joysmum Mon 27-Jun-16 11:14:41


We can only accept what is offered. How likely, in the face of rising dissent in other EU nations, is it that we are likely to secure a better deal than those already outside the EU with trade agreements?

This would open the doors to many other countries exiting and the like of Morway and Switzerland demanding to renegade too!

Much as we'd want a good deal with very little compromising require on our part, that's not very realistic.

wispaxmas Mon 27-Jun-16 11:16:14

It's the single market, not all trade agreements

Joysmum Mon 27-Jun-16 11:59:15

It's the single market, not all trade agreements

Exactly. All negotiating with EU members is done purely through the EU. That's why I wanted to leave. This arrangement stifles our ability to make links with the world (where the highest oportunities for growth are) and makes us too dependent on the EU.

WalrusGumboot Mon 27-Jun-16 13:55:23

Thank you all, I understand much more now. And I agree with you Joysmum.

wispaxmas Mon 27-Jun-16 18:27:41

OP, this is an interesting article on the subject:

The single market is what leave campaigners said we would continue to has free access to, and if that is the case we will not be able to 'take back control' of anything.

WalrusGumboot Mon 27-Jun-16 22:38:50

Thanks I'll give it a read smile

ReallyTired Mon 27-Jun-16 23:23:36

If we are in the European free trade area can we allow freedom of movement, but deny benefits and in work benefits to those who have not been in the uk for five years. Can a country like Norway, Switzerland or Iceland give preferential treatment to non immigrants?

RainYourRottingMyDhaliaBulbs Mon 27-Jun-16 23:28:02

what is it, 50 or 53 countries trading with the EU and one or two have to accept free movement.

there would be pick axes outside parliament if the government whoever they may be, allowed same immigration rules as now.

there is no model or precedent...we are in un chartered waters, they can play hard ball but so can we.

our exit has left EU in tight spot.

its political and economical with the issues being, punish us but risk power.

Roonerspism Mon 27-Jun-16 23:40:20

I think that's how I see it.

I can't see a deal based on any of the current model. I think it will be something like the EEA with tweaked movement e.g free movement of workers rather than people

Immigration is a good thing - and I am a Leave voter. But you have to sell the model to the Leave voters for whom this was the selling point. Plus, a credible exit has to amend border control a bit.

Winterbiscuit Mon 27-Jun-16 23:55:29

Yes, I'd like to see clarification of what people mean, when using the term "freedom of movement".

1) freedom of movement of workers. The EC treaties allowed free movement for economically active persons, but not for others.

or 2) freedom of movement of people i.e. any EU citizen who wishes to migrate. This began here with the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, along with the new EU citizenship, passport etc.

Roonerspism Mon 27-Jun-16 23:59:21

I have a feeling that this distinction is quite subtle for many people.

There needs to be an expectation that a certain level of immigration is inevitable and good.

For me, Brexit without a removal of a substantial volume of EU regs would be a cop out.

Winterbiscuit Tue 28-Jun-16 00:01:40

How is denying benefits to people going to help? Either allow people to come here and treat them properly instead of condemning them to poverty, or create a fair system where it's clear who is/isn't eligible to migrate to the UK. Like many on the leave side, I favour the second of these with an Australian-style points system for economic migrants, as well as accepting as many genuine refugees as possible (and with fewer illegal immigrants there's more room for those who really are refugees).

Thegirlinthefireplace Tue 28-Jun-16 00:01:57

People who think we will be fine without single market access, what do you think we will be exporting?

KateInKorea Tue 28-Jun-16 00:03:18

But you have to sell the model to the Leave voters for whom this was the selling point.

The leave voters have already been sold to, they just did not know what they were buying, so they go from Boris Johnson who has said that there will be free movement of people to the NF guys who have started demanding repatriation.

So I think the onus is on leave to develop a proposal that will be acceptable to the electorate, that will be acceptable to the EU and meets its priorities, and not scupper the British economy (even further).

GraceGrape Tue 28-Jun-16 00:10:19

For me, Brexit without a removal of a substantial volume of EU regs would be a cop out.

Can I ask what sort of regulations you would like to see removed and why?

Thegirlinthefireplace Tue 28-Jun-16 00:14:32

I am interested in how people think our economy will stay afloat without access to the single market. Not heard a single serious answer to that, just vague stuff about there being other countries out there. Agreed, but what exactly do people think we will sell to them?

WaitroseTrolley Tue 28-Jun-16 00:25:53

You might find this helpful.

recall Tue 28-Jun-16 00:32:32

I'm just relieved we won't be dragged blindly into TTIP

Thegirlinthefireplace Tue 28-Jun-16 00:39:42

Waitrose, that link rather confirms my view. Only the Norway model would be suitable for our largely banking and financial services economy to my lay eye.

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