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But what if the actual Brexit deal, approved by Westminster parliament and by qualified majority vote in the EU Council, provided for (say) 5 years continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union after which both parties could agree to "review" the deal, with the review including all options, including all options up to and including full membership of the EU?

This is a zero probability event. The UK is definitely leaving the EU, only the date may be uncertain. It is silly to think that everyone in the Council wishes to keep the UK in the EU, or that the UK leaving is prejudicial. A transition period may come to be, but it will not reverse Article 50.

Worst case, the UK is gone anyway once the A50 period elapses, so give them as little as possible and make exiting the EU utterly unattractive for any future discontented EU member.

Leaving the EU is not unattractive per se, it is leaving the EEA that is. What drives the Council is not the will to make it as bad as possible for the UK, but rather to guarantee that existing rules remain in place. Losing a member as important as the UK can not possibly justify a regression to the level integration achieved so far.  

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Mon Aug 28th, 2017 at 03:34:23 PM EST
The deal suggested is most unlikely to be approved by this UK Parliament, but could conceivably be approved by this EU Council given that it requires only a qualified majority. What is unlikely, is that any such deal could be approved unanimously by the Council afterwards, as there are plenty of reasons why any one E27 member might veto it.  

The purpose of such a deal is therefore only to extend the period in which QMV is applicable on the EU side, and to give a future UK parliament the power to reverse Brexit, should it so desire. Of course such an outcome is possible on the UK side only if May looses a Commons vote on any other deal, resigns, and is replaced by a labour led government, probably after a general election.

The immanence of the March 2019 deadline makes such a sequence of events unlikely, to say the least.  As for the EEA, Norway pays roughly as much, per capita, for Single market access as the UK does for full membership. I don't see that as an attractive proposition.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 28th, 2017 at 04:06:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Norway has about twice the GDP/capita of United Kingdom. I am sure there is a lot of politics in setting the fees, but GDP probably plays a role too.

Following your links:
InFacts Norwegians pay about as much as Brits to access EU - InFacts

As InFacts has previously shown, the UK sent £12.9 billion to the EU last year. After subtracting the money the EU spends in the UK and money that the UK would spend anyway because of its commitment to global development targets, the UK's net contribution to the EU comes to £96 per capita--by coincidence, exactly the same as our estimate for Norway.

This is not to say that Britain would have to pay the same per head as Norway if we quit the EU and adopted the Norwegian model. After all, the UK's GDP per person is lower than Norway's. Perhaps the UK could plead poverty and negotiate a lower contribution to the EU in a post-Brexit arrangement. On the other hand, if the split were acrimonious, things could turn out worse.

A search also yielded this:

LSE BREXIT - How much do non-EU countries give up for access to the single market? More than Brexiteers will like

While the UK's strategy toward access of the EU single market after Brexit is unclear, the experience of the four non-EU countries having access to it suggests that the conditions of access may involve:

    Sizeable net financial contribution to the EU budget (Norway pays similar amounts to current UK payments in relative terms, though Switzerland and Liechtenstein pay surprisingly small amounts.);

So Norway may not be a good comparison.

by fjallstrom on Tue Aug 29th, 2017 at 12:14:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No doubt the EU will use indicators like Norway's contribution per capita which suit it's argument for a higher contribution, and the UK will use Switzerland or some other example to bolster it's case for a lower one.  The bottom line is that there is no universal rule for calculating the contribution and each case is a bespoke deal. The EU will name it's price and the UK theirs, and then the haggling will begin with absolutely no guarantee of a successful outcome but a likely agreement somewhere down the middle. This could take years...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 30th, 2017 at 07:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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