Time running out! Fury as £15bn Norway trade deal on brink of collapse– talks 'undermined'


    Liz Truss and her International Trade team are keen to secure an “ambitious and comprehensive” free trade agreement as they look at building opportunities for a post-Brexit Britain. The EEA nation exported goods worth 181 billion Norwegian crowns (£15.5billion) last year to the UK with oil and gas making up the majority of exports.

    Norway wants to continue enjoying zero tariffs on all industrial goods exported to Britain but wants fully free trade in seafood.

    However, the Christian Democrats threatened to block any agreed trade deal due to fears many farmers in the country were out of business due to fears of being outcompeted by British counterparts.

    The Christian Democrats are one of three parties in Norway’s current coalition government led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

    The party confirmed the Express today that they were considering their position on any deal.


    Oslo politicians have to agree on how to proceed with the UK by the end of this month else it faces not being passed in the current electoral cycle due to general elections in the Scandviain country in September.

    Department for International Trade officials said any trade deal would allow products including beef, cheese as well as machinery and mechanical appliances to be exported.

    Meanwhile, British consumers would continue to enjoy popular Norwegian products such as frozen haddock.

    Sources close to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss called for Norwegian politicians to unite and work with Britain “cooperatively” but stressed talks were “going smoothly”.

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    The agreement is being negotiated together with the EEA/EFTA (European Free Trade Association) member states, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

    A temporary rollover agreement was signed in December and ensured 95 percent of goods trade with Norway remained tariff-free.

    Without the agreement, duties on UK imports from Iceland and Norway could have increased by an estimated £65million under World Trade Organisation trading arrangements.

    Last night, Norway’s Trade Minister Iselin Nybø added that Great Britain is also “a central trading partner” and indicated a deal needed to be agreed quickly.


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