For the love of EFTA

Last night was the penultimate debate of the SNP Leadership candidates. However we are geeks and we love a bit of policy detail, so let us explore it.

Humza Yousaf made this claim to Ash Regan:

So you have backed EFTA over EU membership which is not of course backed by our membership.

Humza Yousaf –

However itโ€™s worth pointing out, on page 39 of Scotlandโ€™s Place in Europe, a document authored and prologued in Nicola Sturgeons name, this is exactly the position that was set out.

A bit of a #HumdingerForHumza there.

There are many benefits to EFTA, such as rather quick acceptance – you only need the current 4 countries of Iceland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ , Liechtenstein ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ , Norway ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด and Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ to agree, and accept the rules of EFTA, that if you read the whole 62 document of the Scottish Government, we essentially do anyway.

Iceland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ is the closest analogue that applied in November 1968 and became active in January 1970 in EFTA. A year and one month.

Usefully Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ would have a two year transition to independence, which would be more than enough time, especially following the digital revolution since the 70s. Scotland also has the benefit of being nearly fully aligned already.

What does EFTA not include?
– Common Agricultural Policy
– Common Fisheries Policy
– Customs Union
– Foreign affairs or Security Policy
– Justice
– Monetary Union

So essentially – the controversial bits in Scotland – are already exempt from any effect of joining. Scotland can maintain its own fisheries and agricultural policy, which may be of some advantage versus EU membership.

Annual contribution would be around ยฃ10m from looking at the payments made by the current members and itโ€™s worth noting – Austria ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น , Finland ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ and Sweden ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช were all members of EFTA that later transitioned to being EU members.

It seems like a good idea.

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