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The SNP should admit there is no single market to belong to for non EU members – the issue is access

Friday, October 14, 2016 22:45
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(Before It's News)

It may suit the SNP to spin the myth that the UK can stay in the single market whilst leaving the EU, but we know that is wrong. The Single European Act which helped create the EU’s version of a more regulated and coordinated market has long since been folded into the Treaty of European Union. No-one on the continent is proposing splitting out single market laws from the rest and letting the UK belong to that. Nor are they wanting to do a side deal with Scotland rather than the UK, given the problems that could create in Catalonia, Venice, the Flemish part of Belgium and the rest.

The EU’s internal market, wrongly called a single market, comes with freedom of movement, budget contributions, the supremacy of EU law and the all the rest as part of the deal. It only comes with membership of the whole EU. Many of us explained at length in the referendum campaign that we would leave the single market as well as the EU as they are the same thing. The government also warned people that was true. The issue was always what access we will have to the EU internal market once we have left, not how we could “stay in” it, when “it” has no separate legal identity from the EU.

That was why the Remain campaign not only warned we would be out of the single market, but kept saying we would need to do a Norway or Swiss type deal to buy access to the market with concessions on budget contributions and freedom of movement. Again the Vote Leave campaign endlessly ruled out such an approach, as more importantly now has the new government. Vote Leave always pointed out all other countries have access to the single market through world trade rules, and there is every reason to think the rest of the EU would want a better trade deal than the average with the UK given the large amounts they sell to us.

The one ray of hope in the SNP blizzard of propaganda is they would like more powers for the Scottish Parliament when the EU powers are removed. That is a more productive conversation to hold. It is a of course a contradiction of their wish to stay in the so called single market, which would leave the power to decide firmly in Brussels. When the UK comes out, then of course Scotland can discuss with the Union Parliament what powers it should have over its own fishing, farming and other policies that are currently controlled from Brussels. Coming out of the EU is about taking decisions that matter closer to home, so it is a good conversation to have on the balance of power returned to the UK Parliament and given to the Scottish Parliament.

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