Grimsby welcomes no-deal Brexit trade deal with Iceland and Norway
Andrew Mitchell, right, after he signed the tri-party agreement in London, with Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Icelandic Ambassador, left, and Wegger Christian Strømmen, his Norwegian counterpart.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 4 Apr 2019
The trade continuity agreement brokered between Britain, Iceland and Norway has been signed, delighting Grimsby’s seafood industry.
Trade Commissioner to Europe, Andrew Mitchell, signed the tri-party agreement in goods in London, with Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Icelandic Ambassador and Wegger Christian Strømmen, his Norwegian counterpart.
As reported, terms were reached last month to ensure there is no significant disruption should the UK leave the EU without a deal. It also covers citizens’ rights, with the area’s fish-focus seeing a higher concentration of Icelanders on the Humber.
It maintains the same level of tariffs on goods traded between the UK, Iceland and Norway, with the preferential terms in a no deal scenario, rather than on World Trade Organisation terms, delivering significant savings and helping to safeguard jobs.
Icelandic Ambassador Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson signs the agreement.
British businesses could avoid up to £15 million a year in tariff charges on exports that would otherwise apply if an agreement wasn’t in place.
Mr Mitchell said: “This agreement secures continued preferences for goods trade with Iceland and Norway for British businesses, as we prepare to leave the EU. These are key trading partners with whom we have a long-standing and historic trading relationship.
“Our trade with Iceland and Norway was worth around £30 billion last year, with just over £24 billion of this in goods. This is good news for British businesses and we have a golden opportunity to further liberalise trade with these countries in the years ahead.”
In Grimsby, 75 per cent of all the seafood sold on the fish market is Icelandic, with the majority of the fish bought by processors coming from Norway, with the UK’s most popular sector purchase, salmon, a key trade.
Grimsby Fish Market.
Martyn Boyers, chief executive of market operator Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises Ltd, said: “Grimsby relies heavily on Icelandic and Norwegian supplies to the daily fish auction and to the processors.
“This trade deal is extremely welcome, in fact vital, as 70 per cent of the fish consumed in the UK is imported, most of that supply coming from Iceland and Norway. It also gives clarity and confidence to numerous businesses within the Humber region."