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Vidar Helgesen, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs, briefing an audience at Norway House. 
Photo: Mission of Norway to the EU.Vidar Helgesen, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs, briefing an audience at Norway House. Photo: Mission of Norway to the EU

Why Britain should not leave the EU to be like Norway

Last updated: 11.03.2015 // - When we make choices about the future of Europe, it is worth considering what political forces will see themselves served by a weaker Europe and a weaker EU. British leadership is needed to help Europe counter such forces and emerge stronger, more free and more prosperous, said Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Vidar Helgesen in his speech at British Influence in London.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to exchange views on the important matter of Britain’s influence in Europe. I take it for granted that the vast majority in Britain want to see strong British influence in Europe, but that views diverge as to how such influence can best be wielded. I do not intend to take part in the British debate. My perspective is what serves Norway best, and what I believe will serve Europe best.

Quite possibly Norway’s longest-standing and most consistent foreign policy tradition is not to part ways with the British. It stems from the Napoleonic wars and the famine caused by the British blockade of Denmark-Norway. This was a harsh lesson, but we have since been well served by our close ties to the UK and benefit from your influence in Europe and beyond. We believe our interests are still served by being closely aligned with Britain, and by Britain being inside the EU.

Read the full speech at British Influence in London 24 February on the Government's offcial website.


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