The EEA Agreement also states that when a country becomes a member of the European Union, it shall also apply to become party to the EEA Agreement (Article 128), thus leading to an enlargement of the EEA.
The EEA Agreement provides for the inclusion of EU legislation covering the four freedoms — the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital — throughout the 31 EEA States. In addition, the Agreement covers cooperation in other important areas such as research and development, education, social policy, the environment, consumer protection, tourism and culture, collectively known as “flanking and horizontal” policies. The Agreement guarantees equal rights and obligations within the Internal Market for citizens and economic operators in the EEA.
What is the EEA Not?
The EEA Agreement does not cover the following EU policies:
Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies (although the Agreement contains provisions on various aspects of trade in agricultural and fish products);
Common Trade Policy;
Common Foreign and Security Policy;
Justice and Home Affairs (even though the EFTA countries are part of the Schengen area); or
Monetary Union (EMU).
Steve Peers, Professor of EU constitutional law and commissioned expert for the European parliament and commission, Scotland would benefit from not joining the fiscal constraints of EU single currency while still participating in the single market.
He also stated that in the case of a so-called “hard Brexit” with the UK shut out of most trading blocks and options Scotland could use the EEA as a “waiting house” for future membership before or after independence.
Steve Peers said: The most obvious route for Scotland to consider would be membership of the EEA, along with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The decision-making process in the EEA Agreement is characterised by its two-pillar structure. Substantive decisions relating to the EEA Agreement and its operation are a joint venture with the EU and in the hands of common bodies.
The EEA EFTA States have not transferred any legislative competencies to the EEA institutions and they are unable, constitutionally, to accept direct decisions by the Commission or the European Court of Justice. To cater for this situation, the EEA Agreement established EEA EFTA bodies to match those on the EU side. The EEA EFTA States take all decisions by concensus as opposed to the EU side where decisions related to EEA legislation are normally taken by majority vote.
The two-pillar EEA structure:
After the EU referendum last June, the Scottish Government highlighted its commitment to continuing full membership of the EU, pointing to the outcome of the vote in Scotland which saw 62 per cent of the vote secured for remaining.
The EEA, sometimes referred to as the single market, includes all the countries that are part of Europe's free trade area, with the exception of Switzerland. All members of the EU automatically become members of the European Economic Area, giving them access to the single market.
However, three European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) members, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, are part of the EEA too. Switzerland, the one EFTA member not in the EEA, has made separate bilateral trade agreements with the EU to allow it to participate in the single market in some areas.
YES rally in Dundee
Today (22nd April) in Dundee city square the YES movement held a rally and amongst the speakers were Paul Kavanagh (@weegingerdug) and Lesley Riddock (@LesleyRiddoch) who gave great speeches but during Lesley's speech she highlighted the fact that we didn't need Westminster to say if we could or couldn't hold a referendum, if fact we could by a simple vote in the Scottish parliament to declare Independence.
Lesley went on to say that joining the EEA would be the best option for Scotland, and this very much on the same lines as Lesley from Ron Wilson (@TartanSeer)
So, the question is would the EEA and declaring Independence in the Scottish Parliament be in our best interests?
Personally I believe it would. An easy transition into the EEA certainly looks tasty