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The deal will slash tariffs on exports of cheese, and other goods, while shrimps, prawns and haddock will be reduced in a boost for fish processing in Britain. Under the terms of the agreement, UK wines and spirits including Scotch Whisky will also now be recognised in Norway and Iceland, providing better protection to manufacturers of the products.
International trade minister Ranil Jayawardena celebrated the trade deal and said the country had delivered on the promise of Brexit.
He said: “We are delivering on the promise of Brexit by doing more than ever with like-minded democracies to help British businesses go further.
“Yesterday, I was proud to agree a ground-breaking deal with our friends in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, setting the standard for modern trade.
“This is one of the first in Britain’s next generation of deals, which will take our trade with these partners – worth £21.6 billion last year – to ever greater heights.
International trade minister Ranil Jayawardena
International trade secretary Liz Truss
“We know that around 6.5 million jobs up and down our country have relied on exports, so the best way to drive forward our exports-led and jobs-led recovery lies in embracing opportunities overseas.”
Mr Jayawardena added how the new deal “slashes foreign tariffs” that were as high as 277 percent for “exports on world-class British food and drink” so it can be better value.
He continued: “The benefits will be felt by businesses in every corner of our United Kingdom, from Yorkshire pig farmers to Scottish fish feed producers and Welsh cheesemakers.
“In turn, we are cutting tariffs on imports of shrimps, prawn and whitefish, which is great news for British fish processors from Grimsby to Glasgow, backing 18,000 jobs.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson
“And this deal cements Britain’s status as a global hub for services and digital trade. We have secured clearer rules for financial services, which will make sure that this trade, worth £570 million last year, can go to the next level.”
In a move to scrap bureaucratic paperwork from being required when exporting goods, all documents and contracts will be allowed to be done digitally, speeding up the customs process at the border.
And Mr Jayawardena added how the new deal will cut through “ridiculous red tape” and British firms will be able to export to Norway and Iceland electronically.
He added: “Together, we are cutting through ridiculous red tape, with British firms now able to export to Norway and Iceland electronically without the need for cumbersome paperwork.
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UK trade deals
“And, in a world-first, our free trade agreement clears the way for caps on international mobile roaming charges, which will help keep costs low for holidaymakers and business travellers.
“Meanwhile, this deal will enable musicians and entertainers to perform in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
“Faster and simpler visa processes, alongside routes to recognition of professional qualifications, will support a range of professionals such as vets, nurses and lawyers.”
The deal has been hailed by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss as a victory for the whole United Kingdom with all four nations benefiting.
EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen
She said: “Today’s deal will be a major boost for our trade with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, growing an economic relationship already worth £21.6billion, while supporting jobs and prosperity in all four nations at home.”
Sources at the Department of Trade said the deal was the most advanced done to date by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein after specific terms on digital trade and small businesses were included in the pact.
The provisionally approved deal will be signed off once formal checks on the terms have been completed.
As well as the deal opening up potential new markets for UK businesses, consumers too will benefit from the pact.
A cap will be placed on how much mobile phone operators can charge each other for international mobile roaming.
The terms, never before included in a free trade agreement, will help keep costs low for those holidaying in the countries.
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