Thursday 21 September 2017

Top five countries to replace the UK in the EU

By Georgia Humphreys

They all bring something pretty unique to the table.

Imagine if when one country leaves the EU, another one just went straight in and replaced it.

Look, we’re not saying this is what’s going to happen once Theresa May triggers Article 50, but if it were to, we have some suggestions as to who should be in the running.

1. Australia

Why?

Alright, it’s a bit out there geographically, but then the land Down Under is already in Eurovision, so they have something to go on when it comes to getting themselves in the EU. Being part of the Commonwealth means they have a lot in common with the UK – which surely is another reason Australia would be a fitting replacement. Plus, there are already so many Aussies travelling around Europe, why not give the Europeans a taste of Aus?

What do they bring to the table?

They’ve got everything in one country: beaches, snow, desert, rainforests. And super fun cities.

There’s THE. WEATHER.

Plus, Europe needs more BBQs.

2. Iceland

Why?

Iceland is doing all sorts of great things when it comes to gender equality – it’s on track to be the first country to legally require equal pay for women.

Then add in that the country scored the highest score on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index and the fact it’s the third least likely country in the world to be murdered, and you’ve got a pretty great country to be in the EU right there.

What else do they bring to the table?

Erm, just a little thing called the NORTHERN LIGHTS.

And, if you’re strongly against pineapple as a pizza topping, just remember how their President said he would ban the fruit on pizzas if he could.

3. Switzerland

Why?

The Swiss voted in December 1992 not to join the European Economic Area, but maybe they’d be persuaded to change their minds.

It’s still part of the single market – this means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.

So they’d fit right in, wouldn’t they?

What else do they bring to the table?

Erm, hello? Fondue?

Then there are all the beautiful ski resorts.

And Lake Geneva looks pretty alright in summer, too.

4. Norway

Why?

Norway already has a higher share of EU migrants per capita than the UK – they’re part of the EEA and accept the free movement of people, which is a great start.

And you know what? Norway is just beautiful.

What do they bring to the table?

Seriously, we just touched on it, but we’ll say it again – it’s beautiful there. You’ve got the incredible natural wonders that are fjords.

You get 24 hours of sun in the summer in the North of the country.

And they’re all about that outdoorsy life – including a law that allows people to pitch a tent through any non-cultivated land – which maybe explains why Norway is consistently named year on year as one of the world’s happiest countries.

5. Scotland

Why?

Yep, we’re getting real topical here. Following the Brexit vote, the Scottish Parliament is expected to pass a vote in favour of seeking a new Scottish independence referendum.

If that happens and Scotland does vote for independence, well, who knows where their future in the EU lies..?

The country already has strong relationships with European partners – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently signed an agreement with the German state of Bavaria, pledging to support further joint working on business, enterprise, innovation and research projects.

Plus, it’s worth remembering that 62% of Scottish voters backed the UK remaining part of the EU in June 2016. So, if they do become independent, then that’s a lot of people who would probably be keen to get back into the EU.

What do they bring to the table?

They’ve got Edinburgh, which means they’ve got the Edinburgh Fringe, which means the country has a lot of fun come summer – you just know that Scotland will bring the party.

Come winter, they have the snowy views we all crave waking up to.

And all year round, they’ve got some of the best food and drink – haggis, whisky, shortbread…

Now, we’re not saying any of these countries will actually end up joining/returning to the EU…but they can’t say we aren’t rooting for them.

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