Trade agreement reached

Norway and the United Kingdom strike post-Brexit free trade deal

Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø and Prime Minister Erna Solberg hold Norwegian and British flags to celebrate

Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB
Prime Minister Erna Solberg (right) and Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø (left) were all smiles after a press conference on the status of the negotiations for a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom.

The Local

Norway and the United Kingdom have struck an agreement on a free trade deal, the Norwegian government announced on Friday.

Negotiations over the agreement have been ongoing since last summer, and the Norwegian government said that the deal is the largest free trade agreement Norway has entered into, outside of the EEA agreement. 

“The agreement entails a continuation of all previous tariff preferences for seafood and improved market access for white fish, shrimp, and several other products,” the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.  

One of the sticking points of the negotiations was Norway wanting more access to sell seafood in the U.K., while the U.K. wanted more access to sell agricultural products like cheese.

The latter was a problem due to Norway having import protection against agricultural goods. 

“This agreement secures Norwegian jobs and value creation and marks an important step forward in our relationship with the U.K. after Brexit. This is a long-term agreement, which at the same time helps to accelerate the Norwegian economy,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement.  

The U.K. is Norway’s second most important single market, after the EU. In 2020 Norwegian companies exported goods worth 135 billion kroner to the U.K. and imported around 42 billion kroner of goods from the U.K. 

Norway has given Britain 26 quotas on agricultural products, but not for mutton and beef. The agreement does not increase the U.K.’s cheese quotas, state broadcaster NRK have reported. 

The agreement will still need to be signed by both the Norwegian and U.K. parliaments. 

This article originally appeared in the June 18, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway