The UK reached a temporary deal that secures trade with Norway and Iceland should Britain tumble out of the European Union with no deal at the end of March.
The accord secures prolonging zero tariffs on industrial goods, including Norway’s massive natural gas exports, and on established quotas on seafood and agricultural products, according to a statement from Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said the agreement was “very positive” for Norwegian businesses.
The deal also establishes a basis for negotiating a permanent agreement to ensure the continuation of as much of the open trade arrangement that the single market represents, including trade in services, the ministry said.
“It will be a high priority for Norway to start such negotiations as quickly as possible,” it said.
The U.K. also welcomed the pact, which the government said is “one of the largest trade agreements the U.K. is party to as a result of EU membership.”
“Combined with the agreement we have already signed with Liechtenstein and Switzerland, it accounts for close to half of the trade we’re seeking continuity for,” Britain’s International Trade Secretary Dr. Liam Fox said. “This is good news for British businesses and a major milestone in getting the U.K. ready for Brexit, no matter the terms of our withdrawal.”
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