"Norway's foreign minister has urged the UK to assess the advantages of staying in the European Union, rather than consider leaving.
Norway is not in the EU but has access to the single market [ via the EFTA/EEA]. UK Eurosceptics use it as a model for how the UK could relate to the EU from outside.
But Foreign Minister Espen Eide said Oslo had "limited scope for influence".
"We are not at the table when decisions are made" he told Radio 4's The World This Weekend.
Mr Eide is pro-EU, though Norwegian voters have twice rejected the chance to join the EU in referendums in 1972 and 1994.Sir Nigel Sheinwald, a former UK ambassador to the US and to the European Union, said: "The issue is - do you want to be part of the single market? All the economic indicators are that the UK needs to be. "But [... the Norwegians] have no role in negotiations. They have no impact, no influence and there's no accountability. So this is regulation without representation"
The truth of course is that Norway does have influence in the EU (as the picture above shows and seen in this pdf document) with it's membership of the EFTA ( European Free Trade Association) and that the UK could operate better outside of the EU but with access and influence in the single market.
"One of the ways in which the EEA EFTA States participate in shaping EC legislation, i.e. when the Commission is drawing up legislative proposals, is by submitting comments on important policy issues. The comments are elaborated by working groups, cleared by the relevant subcommittees, endorsed by the Standing Committee and officially noted by the Joint Committee after they have been sent to the relevant services in the Commission and the European Parliament. "
"The European Community's plan to complete the Internal Market by removing all barriers to the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons inspired seven Member States of the European Free Trade Association to join forces with the EC to work towards this common goal.
On 2 May 1992, after more than two years of negotiations, the Agreement on the European Economic Area was signed in Porto, Portugal, by the European Community and its 12 Member States, together with the EFTA States.
The EEA is a dynamic and unique integration agreement, which today brings together 30 states in a single market which is constantly evolving. The EEA Agreement has served both the EU and the EFTA States well and has proven to be a durable instrument of economic integration."
Getting out of the EU would save on our contribution to the £4.5Bn a year in wages alone..
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon
"To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the total salary bill of the European Commission and other EU institutions; and of the level and total amount of personal taxation levied on those salaries.[HL3798]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): EU institutions' staff members are not subject to national income tax. Instead, salaries paid by the Commission to its officials are subject to a community tax which is paid directly back into the EU's budget. An additional levy is also in place for EU officials. These taxes result in around €700 million in revenue for the EU budget each year. The total salary bill of the European Commission and other EU institutions totals €4.5 billion every year.
I wonder why the BBC are repeating these fibs about the EFTA ? Hasn't Lord leveson asked broadcasters and the media in general to get their houses in order ?
Scotland would be in an excellent position, post Independence, to negotiate with the EFTA and take our place as an in independent country outwith the EU but as friends and trading partners with our European neighbours.
H/T to EUreferendum for highlighting the fibs