The government has announced a trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, described as the most advanced that the countries have ever signed.
Agreed in principle last month, the government says the deal will slash tariffs and offer new duty-free quotas on exports of British food and farm products. The fish processing sector, retail and consumers will benefit from cheaper imports of prawns, shrimp and white fish, the government says.
Cutting-edge digital provisions for contracts, signatures and electronic documents will slash red tape and paperwork for business, City AM reports.
Trade between the UK and the non-EU nations is worth £21.6bn, reports the Standard.
Ministers from the three countries came to London yesterday to sign the agreement with minister for international trade Ranil Jayawardena.
He said: “Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have gone further with us than any other FTA (Free Trade Agreement) partner, including new cutting-edge digital provisions to enable slicker trade across our borders.”
Norway’s parliament signed off on the deal despite concerns raised that the agreement could see Norwegian farmers and agriculture sold out to UK counterparts, reports the Express. However, trade minister Iselin Nybø stressed the deal would benefit Norwegian businesses.
Australia by year end
Meanwhile, Liz Truss has said the UK’s trade deal with Australia will be fully drafted by the end of the year, according to the Independent.
A deal with New Zealand is expected by August, according to RNZ, with Kiwi priorities being slashing of tariffs on products such as dairy, honey and wine. Anything less than an equivalent deal to that of Canberra will be considered a “national disgrace”.