For months now, supporters of so-called “Brexit” promoted the benefits of the “Norwegian Model” – a mythical land where access to the Single Market is secured while the country is protected from the perils of currency union, political integration and shared immigration policy.
Last Friday, David Cameron delivered just that – except the UK remains at the table, not only for EU issues but even for Eurozone issues where they affect the UK.
The UK is left in an enviable position. It is part of the world’s largest free trading bloc but shielded from having to contribute to Eurozone bail-outs; it has full access to the single market but does not have to participate in common migrant or refugee re-settlements; it can retain its alliances in Europe within a common agreed framework while also firmly committed to intelligence sharing, investment and cultural exchange with North America and Australasia.
The UK, in other words, is firmly rooted where it should be – at the centre of the civilised industrial world’s axis, speaking the world’s most spoken language, trading in the world’s largest free trade zone, operating as a global hub without obvious parallel.
If we trust Messrs Farage, Galloway and Grayling to come up with an alternative plan we could, of course, choose to throw this all away on 23 June. I know what my choice will be.