Brexit Britain secures £20billion agreement with Norway and Iceland as EU talks on brink

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Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced the trade in goods between Britain and Norway and Iceland was worth more than £20 billion last year. The agreement which was signed today also means the majority of trade in goods between the countries will remain tariff-free. Ms Truss tweeted: “Today we have secured continuity for businesses trading goods with Norway and Iceland, worth over £20 billion last year. “We’re looking forward to a more comprehensive FTA with Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein that will come into force in 2021.”

The agreement is the latest among a number of other deals with non-EU countries such as Canada, South Korea, Ukraine and Switzerland.

The UK will be able to trade with these nations in the same way as before the UK left the EU.

A statement released from the Department of International Trade added the latest agreement will mean British people will be able to enjoy Icelandic and Norwegian fish.

The statement said: “British consumers can continue to enjoy popular Icelandic and Norwegian products such as frozen haddock.

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“Over 30 percent of the UK’s imports of fish fillets last year came from Iceland, many of which are used in British fish and chips shops.”

Neither Norway or Iceland are members of the EU.

Instead, they are members of the European Economic Area, which is often shortened to EEA.

This means they follow EU policies and laws and also have access to the internal EU market.

The UK is one of Norway’s biggest trading partners, as a lot of Norway’s North Sea gas production is connected to the UK.

It exports metals, chemicals and paper and also has a strong hydropower industry.

It comes as the UK announced this afternoon it has reached an “agreement in principle” with the EU on food and medicine supplies to Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

The agreement was part of the Brexit Joint Committee talks, which is chaired by Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic.

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In a joint statement, they said: “Following intensive and constructive work over the past weeks by the EU and the UK, the two co-chairs can now announce their agreement in principle on all issues, in particular with regard to the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

Britain will also now withdraw clauses 44, 45 and 47 of the UK Internal Market Bill, and not introduce any similar provisions in an upcoming taxation bill, which would have broken international law.

But, the UK is still yet to clinch a future trading relationship with the EU, with the Prime Minister set to head to Brussels this week to meet with the European Commission President to try to secure a deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier warned that the UK could end trade talks without a deal.

He said: “We’re always hopeful but you know there may come a moment when we have to acknowledge that it’s time to draw stumps and that’s just the way it is.

“We will prosper mightily under any version and if we have to go for an Australian solution then that’s fine too.”

Australia has no free trade deal with the EU, which means most of its trade is on World Trade Organisation terms.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said today that Britain would have to accept conditions if it wanted access to the EU’s market.

He tweeted: “We will never sacrifice our future for the present. Access to our market comes with conditions. Full unity.”

He added he was working with British chief negotiator David Frost to prepare for the meeting between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Mr Johnson.

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