Today there have been rumours on Twitter that the Scottish Government is investigating whether Scotland can join EFTA (and thus the Internal Market) while being part of the UK:
Understand Scottish Government looking at EFTA membership for Scotland as one "flexible Brexit" proposal to be put forward in coming weeks
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) October 24, 2016
It’s a bit like the Reverse Greenland solution, but joining EFTA instead of the EU. However, as far as I can tell, the obstacles are the same:
- EFTA and the EU cover a lot of policy areas that aren’t currently devolved to Scotland, so Westminster will either have to devolve a lot more to Holyrood very quickly, or they’ll have to represent Scotland and EFTA/EU meetings. (See also this blog post by Kirsty Hughes on some of the potential complications.)
- It’s not clear at all that EFTA and/or the EU are interested in having a non-sovereign member.
As I wrote in my old blog post above Reverse Greenland, I think it’s fine Nicola Sturgeon is looking into this, but I really don’t think anything will come of it.
Scottish independence is a better and much more straightforward solution for everybody involved. I don’t see what we’d gain by jumping through ludicrous hoops simply to postpone the next Indyref. Let’s just get on with it!