London, United Kingdom: Britain on Friday announced a post-Brexit free trade deal focused predominantly on major fishing neighbor Norway that will slash tariffs on British food products exported also to Iceland and Liechtenstein.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the deal, agreed in principle, builds on “an economic relationship already worth £21.6 billion ($30 billion, 25 billion euros), while supporting jobs and prosperity” across the UK.
The figure for 2020 overwhelmingly involved non-EU member Norway at £20.4 billion worth of trade between the two countries that are separated by the North Sea and key fishing spots.
Access to Britain’s rich fishing waters was a major sticking point in post-Brexit talks with the EU.
“Reduced import tariffs on shrimps, prawns, and haddock will reduce costs for UK fish processing, helping support some 18,000 jobs in that industry in Scotland” and northern England said Friday’s statement.
The agreement also “significantly cuts tariffs as high as 277 percent” for exports of British cheeses to Norway.
🇬🇧🇳🇴🇮🇸🇱🇮 BREAKING: We have now reached Agreement in Principle with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein on a trade deal.
👉 More at: https://t.co/138C9hQotp
— Ranil Jayawardena MP (@ranil) June 4, 2021
“There are also tariff reductions and quotas on pork, poultry, and other goods. UK wines and spirits including Scotch Whisky will also now be recognized in Norway and Iceland,” the statement added.
Exports to the three non-EU countries will meanwhile be done without the need for any paperwork.
“All documents, contracts, and signatures can be electronic, allowing goods to move seamlessly across borders and saving businesses time and money,” the statement said.
The announcement comes as talks this week began on Britain joining the vast trans-Pacific trade pact.
Britain applied in February to join the 11-nation deal, signed in 2018 by countries including Japan, Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, and Australia.
Britain formally left the European Union in January 2020 after nearly five decades of membership, and quit its single market and customs union at the start of this year.
It has replicated or rolled over existing trade agreements with the bloc and several countries.
London is currently in advanced trade deal discussions with Australia and has held early talks with India, New Zealand, and the United States.