Theresa May’s promise to make a Brexit work for the United Kingdom looks to be approaching yet another major hurdle in the form of Norway.
That is because the Nordic state’s European affairs minister, Elizabeth Vik Aspaker, said her government could block the UK from trying to rejoin the single market, as it’s not in Norway’s interests.
Prime Minister May has said that she wants to secure a Brexit which will allow Britain to remain part of the EU’s single market. Some Brexit supporters have suggested joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) — a small group of states which has access the single market despite not being EU members would be the best way of doing this.
However, the UK’s route into the EFTA will not be as straightforward as it perhaps first seemed. “It’s not certain that it would be a good idea to let a big country [the UK] into this organisation,” Vik Aspaker told the Aftenposten newspaper. “It would shift the balance, which is not necessarily in Norway’s interests.”
She also confirmed that the UK could only join the EFTA if the current members reached a unanimous agreement. The current members are Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. In theory, Norway, or any other EFTA member, could exercise its veto and block UK from pursuing a key element of its Brexit project.