As a bloc with heightened economic weight, with the UK as a key influence, it would have greater flexibility to negotiate over issues such as immigration and budgetary contributions.
There are indeed mechanisms for mitigating damaging immigration flows, but these are tightly constrained.
Within EFTA, there are already two models of relationship with the EU – the EEA and the Swiss model. There is no reason why there could not be a third.
Whatever you think of the latter idea, it can’t fairly be said that, in the minds of a significant tranche of Party members, the door to it is firmly closed.
MigrationWatch has suggested that those EU migrants with skills in short supply should be able to come to the UK for a time-limited period after Brexit.
If we are also out of CAP, CFP and direct ECJ jurisdiction, able to negotiate our own trade deals and in the Single Market, it might not be such a bad outcome after all.
They will want to ask themselves if they really want to spurn last year’s referendum result and the Party’s manifesto commitment.
For both sides, this is a new kind of deal-making. Although Britain is still a member, this is not an internal negotiation in which the UK can be outgunned and outvoted:
It’s time for mistaken claims to the contrary to be consigned to history.