Norway and Iceland sign rollover trade deal with Britain

Brexit | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Trade with Iceland and Norway will continue post-Brexit for the UK after a deal was agreed.

Norway and Iceland have both reached agreements in principle with the UK that will allow them to continue trading if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal.

The deals are part of what is being referred to as a 'rollover process' aimed at minimising disruption for businesses as the deadline for Brexit approaches.

International trade secretary Liam Fox made the announcement on Twitter this week, commenting: "Our negotiators have just initialled a trade agreement with Iceland and Norway for the European Economic Area. This is good news for British businesses and a major milestone in getting the UK ready for Brexit, no matter the terms of our withdrawal."

Both agreements are expected to be signed next week and mean there will be no additional tariffs on certain goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Zero tariffs on industrial goods will also be prolonged, including Norway's natural gas exports and on established quotas on seafood and agricultural products, Norway's Foreign Ministry said.

The deal also builds a foundation on which a permanent agreement can be built to ensure the continuation of the open trade arrangement currently permitted by the single market.

Norway's foreign minister Ine Eriksen Soreide praised the development as "very positive" for Norwegian businesses.

Britain's Department for International Trade is currently trying to replicate around 40 deals that the UK benefits from as part of its EU membership.

Continued trade has been secured with Liechtenstein and Switzerland following an agreement signed in February, as both are part of the single market despite not being EU or EEA members.

There are just days left until Britain is due to exit the EU, but the government has yet to win parliament's backing for its proposed deal.

Indeed, Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow yesterday (March 18th) announced he would effectively ban Theresa May from bringing her deal back before parliament a third time unless it contains significant changes.

If Britain leaves without a deal, existing bilateral trade agreements will cease to apply.