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Iceland and UK strike Brexit trade deal

19.03.2019 - 10:09
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 Mynd: RÚV
Iceland has secured a temporary deal with the United Kingdom that will see trade terms continue unchanged, regardless of whether Brexit will be hard, soft, or non-existent. Icelandic foreign minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson says there is strong will on both sides to make a longer-term version of the deal soon. Guðlaugur says the deal aims to keep trade between the countries exactly the same as it has been until now.

“That’s the goal. Of course we have no say in how the British and the European Union negotiate between themselves; so if, for example, there were to be trade barriers between the EU and UK, it could have some indirect effect on Icelandic trade, both in Britain and Europe, but hopefully that won’t happen,” Guðlaugur Þór said this morning—adding that Iceland has been emphasising the importance of seamless trade in its dealings with both parties. 

“We have had good communication, not only with the British authorities but also with the EU and EFTA countries. Our message since day one has been that nobody wins from barriers to trade,” he says. 

The deal achieved between the UK and Iceland & Norway last night, for continued trade on current terms in the event of a no-deal Brexit, joins a similar contract the UK has already signed with Switzerland and Liechtenstein.  

The UK is due to leave the EU in ten days’ time and has yet to secure an exit deal or an extension to Article 50.