Paging Norwegians and Eurosceptics

"The likely outcome [of a UK ‘no’ vote to the constitution] would be… something akin to Norway’s agreement with the Union. Britain would buy (for a hefty sum) access to the single market but would lose all influence in shaping its rules. Those who think that sounds like a good idea would do well to talk to Norway’s business leaders." – Phillip Stephens in the FT (subscription required, probably).

British Eurosceptics often make a similar argument, except with the spin that following the Norwegian model would be a Good Thing. I’m sceptical of such claims – but this scepticism isn’t based on much real evidence.

So, if any readers either are Norwegian business leaders or have talked to Norwegian business leaders about the consequences of being outside the EU, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts…

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4 thoughts on “Paging Norwegians and Eurosceptics

  1. Surely any discussion of Norway’s economy has to start with the fact that it produces more than half a barrel of oil per citizen per day.

  2. State-owned and controlled too, with the money properly invested not pissed away in BP/Shell record profits to shareholders like ours.

  3. BP’s record profits have recently mostly come from exploiting the Yanks while Shell’s have mostly come from exploiting the Africans (equally, Thazza sold off BP and its North Sea reserves in the 1980s for a reasonably fair price, to fund her amusing but expensive policy of keeping everyone in the North unemployed…)

    Mr Stephens’s point was, I think, focused on those Norwegian businesses that aren’t directly involved in oil exploration. Certainly, the Eurosceptics’ stats do tend to ignore this particular fact when comparing Norway to The Rest Of Europe, which is why I ignore them.

  4. Yes, I drifted OT but my point really was that Norway have something like 150 bn squid invested for whan the oil runs out, whereas we have a flighty oil multinational or two who when the time suits them will sod off and take their profits with them. Which country was wiser?

    I’d be wary of any comparison at all between us and Norway, either way. It’s like saying Iceland should get itself a foreign policy like the US’s. Nonsense, that is, chalk and cheese and related cliches.

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