Sturgeon's 'Norway-style' Brexit deal for Scotland slapped down by NORWEGIAN politicians
The Scottish First Minister published her proposals on a Brexit deal that she hoped would allow Scotland to sign-up to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
Such a deal would give Scotland tariff-free access to the stagnating EU bloc while the rest of the UK comes out.
Svein Roald Hansen, head of the Norwegian parliament’s EFTA and EEA delegation, said the deal would not be possible unless Scotland becomes an independent country.
Article 56 of the EFTA Convention states only nation states can become part of the agreement – meaning Scotland would have to break away from the crumbling Brussels bloc.
Mr Hansen said Scotland could not be subjected to the EFTA trade agreement while simultaneously benefitting from any deal which the British Government strikes with foreign countries upon leaving the EU.
Oyvind Halleraker, deputy leader of the Norwegian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, agreed with Mr Hansen that Scotland could not join while a part of the EU.
Mr Hansen did express sympathy with Scotland’s position. Despite 62 per cent of voters wanting to remain in the EU, it looks likely the country will leave with the rest of Britain.
He told Buzzfeed: “To enter the EEA agreements, they have to be either be a member of the EU like they are today or a member of EFTA. If they were to become members of EFTA, they would first have to break free from the UK.
“If the UK is out of the EU and they negotiate free trade agreements with other countries, that would presumably be applied to Scotland. Scotland can’t have agreements as part of the UK and other agreements as part of EFTA.”
Mr Halleraker added it seemed impossible for Scotland to remain in the EU if Theresa May opts for a hard Brexit – which would force the UK out of the single market.
He said: “As an EEA member we are an independent country and everything has to be taken into your legislation.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Brexit is unprecedented and so calls for unprecedented solutions, some of which may – as we have openly acknowledged – be complex and challenging.”