1. The EU cannot override the UK in these areas:

2. UK government ministers win the vast majority of EU votes

Since 1999, UK government ministers have been on the losing side 56 times in the EU Council of Ministers, and on the winning side 2,466 times.

Pie chart UK votes won in EU Council of Ministers

The EU Council of Ministers reviews all EU legislative proposals. No new EU laws can be agreed without its approval.

Source: InFacts, 09/05/16

3. The UK has secured more EU opt-outs than any other member state:

UK EU opt outs

4. The UK has the least regulated economy in the EU

The UK has managed to maintain the least regulated economy in Europe over 40 years of EU membership.

Source: Economist.com using OECD figures, 24/02/16

5. EU single market access comes at a cost

No country has ever managed to negotiate full access to the EU’s single market, which accounts for roughly 50% of the UK’s trade, without also accepting free movement of people, EU single market regulations overseen by the European Court of Justice, and contributions to the EU budget.
Erna Solberg, Norwegian Prime Minister on EEA model for uK

Source: Politics.co.uk, 15/01/14

Norway and Switzerland refer to this as ‘fax democracy’ because it means in return for free trade with the EU they have no influence over EU regulations.

Norway pays roughly the same amount per person for access to the European Economic Area (EEA) as the UK pays to be a full EU member.

5. Germany says no exceptions for the UK

Germany has indicated it will not accept any deal for full UK access to the single market after a #brexit, unless the UK is willing to accept free movement of people and the supremacy of EU single market law.

Wolfgang Schäuble, German Finance Minister, on UK single market access after brexit

Source: The Guardian, 10/06/16

EU rules mean any deal for access to the single market after a #brexit would require unanimous agreement from the remaining 27 EU member states.


Like Norway and Switzerland, the UK would become
a rule-taker instead of a rule maker if it decides to leave the EU.