Re: Brits who live in other parts of the EU...
@ Bronek Kozicki
"Perhaps that explains less bureaucracy."
No, it is mainly that the rules have been "harmonised" over the years. After five years in the Netherlands I was told I did not need to register any more at the foreigners department of the local police. Norway otherwise is the most intensely bureaucratic country I have lived in, it trumps even The Netherlands in that respect.
Whilst being outside the EU allows Norway room for manoeuvre in terms of farm subsidies the rights of free movement of workers are pretty much the same as in EU countries. Norway is a Schengen country for starters. You have a right to come here for a period of three months to look for work. If you find it then you can stay. Suffice it to say Norway is not free from the "bloody Johnny Foreigner taking our..." debate. It is raging nicely here too.
Norway implements pretty much every EU directive that comes its way (the only one I can think of that they didn't implement was the Data Retention directive (RIP)). This actually causes problems in the cattle dairy farming sector. EU regulations for milking new parlours combined with Norwegian building regulations and hence building costs mean that it is not economic for smaller farms to build new facilities. They would never get a meaningful return on their investment. Many dairy farmers choose to shut up shop or move into other types of farming.
So I doubt that EEA membership would change much for the UK. Apart from that it would make a packet for the postal services and Customs and Excise. Everything you order from EU countries would be liable for import duties/VAT etc plus the obligatory service charge from the postal company. That would make everyone happy wouldn't it...