Britain strikes post-Brexit trade deal with Norway, Iceland & Liechtenstein
UK authorities have inked a trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The post-Brexit pact is set to cut tariffs and will replace provisional agreements that had been in place since the UK exited the EU last year.
The nations are part of the European Economic Area, which allows them access to the single market.
The new agreement is expected to boost the country’s fish processing industry by bolstering up to 18,000 jobs in Scotland and northern England, as well as to help London to secure access to agricultural markets, according to Britain's Secretary for International Trade Liz Truss.
The secretary called the step “a major boost” for trade and noted that the deal would enhance “an economic relationship already worth 21.6 billion pounds ($30 billion), while supporting jobs and prosperity.”
According to the deal clinched with Norway, import duties on Norwegian fish and seafood would be cut, while tariffs on white fish like cod would be eliminated, benefitting the fish-processing industry in the north of England.The UK will gain the right to export four cheeses to Norway, including Wensleydale and West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, with lower tariff payments than Norway normally imposes on foreign cheeses. The nation commonly taxes cheese with import duties of up to 277%.
In 2020, trade turnover between Britain and Norway reportedly amounted to $28.81 billion, making it the UK's 13th largest trading partner. Britain is Norway’s number one trading partner mostly due to gas exports, and its third biggest buyer of fish and seafood. Moreover, the UK is the third biggest buyer of Norwegian fish and seafood.
The overall trade volume of Iceland and Britain totaled $792 million last year, with Iceland exporting fish, sheep meat and an Icelandic yoghurt, skyr.
Following separation from the EU, Britain is actively looking to forge new global trading links. London is expected to sign a deal with Australia later this month, and is reportedly seeking to join a trans-Pacific trade pact.