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UK signs post-Brexit trade deal with three countries in 'boost' to £21.6bn ties
4 June 2021, 16:23 | Updated: 4 June 2021, 16:25
The UK has signed a trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the government has announced.
Trading between the four countries is already worth £21.6 billion, but the new deal will give a significant boost, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said.
Exports to the three countries will now able to be done using digital documents, contracts and signatures.
There are tariff reductions and quotas on pork, poultry and other goods, and UK wines and spirits including Scotch Whisky will now be recognised in Norway and Iceland too.
Import tariffs on shrimps, prawns and haddock will be reduced as well, lowering costs for UK fish processing and helping support 18,000 fish processing jobs in Scotland and Northern England.
Cheese is another area that has been impacted by the deal, with the agreement significantly cutting tariffs as high as 277 per cent for exporters to Norway of West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar, Traditional Welsh Caerphilly, and Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.
Ms Truss said: "Today's deal will be a major boost for our trade with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, growing an economic relationship already worth £21.6 billion, while supporting jobs and prosperity in all four nations at home."
Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, said: "This agreement secures Norwegian jobs and facilitates economic growth, and it marks an important step forward in our relationship with the UK after Brexit."
The Norwegian Government said the deal was one of the most comprehensive free trade agreements they had ever negotiated, but it was also recognised that it could not compare to the previous arrangement when the UK was still in the EU.
Iceland's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation, Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, said: "I have placed great emphasis on ensuring a good future relationship with the UK after leaving the European Union and I am convinced that this agreement will strengthen the economic and friendly relations between Iceland and the UK in the future."
Liechtenstein's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dominique Hasler, added: "The agreement provides an excellent basis for continuing our close economic relationships and expanding them in the future."