Scotland’s Future in EFTA?

Efta is the Best Deal We’ll Get

I was so impressed after reading Lord David Owen’s Comment article in The Sunday Times of 05 Aug 2018 that, after a gap of five years of writing to the Press, I submitted a letter in support to the Letters Editor.

This was published yesterday (12 Aug 2018) as the lead letter in a section entitled “Efta is the best deal we’ll get”.  I reproduce it below but have reinstated some text which, I believe, aids my message.

The current political position is a mess.  I have tried here to use the teachings of the Scottish Enlightenment, i.e logic and rational thinking. but is anyone listening?  There might just be time to avoid disastrous political decision-making of the past.


“Dear Sir,

A Brexit Solution?

Lord David Owen is right. The people of the UK, in a “people’s vote”, have already decided to leave the European Union (EU), now set for 29 Mar 2019. A logical next step is to resume our membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and so stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) as a non-EU member. This would be as part of the “EFTA governance” pillar of the EEA which would separate us from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to which EU countries subscribe, thus ensuring UK national sovereignty.

However, we would be subject to EEA jurisdiction in our trading where the governing treaty, based on the Vienna Convention, determines the outcome, not the EU’s ECJ. It is outrageous to think that we are leaving the EU but might somehow still be subject to its Court.

It is infantile in the extreme for Theresa May to think that the UK can get a bespoke deal with the EU based on the now dead Chequers cabinet “understanding”. Quite frankly, the EU has bigger fish to fry and we shall get nowhere simply by being nice to people. Asserting strongly our right to paddle our own canoe, after settling any final membership dues to the EU on leaving – certainly not £39 billion – is the logical way to go.

I commend Lord Owen’s correspondence with the Prime Minister. Hopefully, she is reading and thinking. She might even want to recruit him to her now seriously depleted Brexit team!

Yours faithfully

William G Walker