23:49 GMT20 January 2021
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    Brexit: Article 50 Triggered (52)
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    The European Union is considering the possibility of the United Kingdom’s joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as an option for the transition period in EU-UK relations after triggering Brexit procedures by the British government, media reported on Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Membership in EFTA, comprising Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, will give the United Kingdom an opportunity to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA), which implies access to the European single market, the Politico media outlet reported citing a senior source in the European commission.

    This form of cooperation, known as the ‘Norway model,” would allow preserving current economic ties between the United Kingdom and the European Union, The model, however, may face “hard Brexit” supporters’ resistance as the country would preserve freedom of movement with the European Union despite the fact that the main argument for Brexit was to regain control over the migration flows.

    In March, the United Kingdom officially began the withdrawal process by handing a formal letter to European Council President Donald Tusk. According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, London now has two years to complete the negotiation process.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May has stated her priority to be migration controls and has ruled out remaining part of the single market. She has, however, stressed that she wants a free trade agreement reached and thus a tariff-free zone established.

    Brexit: Article 50 Triggered (52)
    Brexit, European Union, European Free Trade Association (EFTA), United Kingdom
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