The Daily Express: Lichtenstein warns Britain it must accept free movement of people for single market access
18 August 2016 | 03:32 | FOCUS News Agency
London. Mr Hasler claims free movement is crucial to the European Union and Britain will find it very hard to come to a trade agreement without it, The Daily Express writes.
Liechtenstein’s PM shamelessly says it “wouldn’t be possible” for the UK to negotiate a deal for single market access without free movement of people – despite his country agreeing the exact deal 20 years ago.
The small landlocked principality negotiated entry into European Economic Area (EEA) – an organisation which bridges the gap between the European Free Trade Association and the EU – joining in May, 1995.
The micro state has a population of only 37,000 spread over an area of 61 square miles – less than half the area of the Isle of Wight.
It was agreed upon joining the EEA the country could easily become overpopulated if it was forced to operate within the EU’s desire for unrestricted free movement.
The EEA Council provided the principality a safeguard measure in the shape of Article 112 of the EEA Agreement – which is more popularly known as the “emergency brake” on immigration.
Despite Liechtenstein striking this particular deal over 20 years ago, the country’s current prime minister claims the EU would not be interested in the same deal today.
Speaking on BBC’s Newsnight he said: “I think nowadays it would be impossible for Liechtenstein to realise such a solution.
“Twenty years ago, it was different, but I think today negotiate such a solution it wouldn’t be possible.
“You see the discussion in Switzerland and also in the UK, free movement is one of the pillars of the EU and it’s quite difficult to special situations there.
“We only have 37,000 inhabitants, so it is really a small country and for that, we need the control of immigration.
“Without control, we have a lot of people – a lot of aliens here in Liechtenstein – and that would be a big problem for Liechtenstein.”
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