Thursday 22 October 2020 6:31 am

UK strikes deal with Norway to continue trade in case of no-deal Brexit

The UK has signed a temporary agreement with Norway to ensure trade of goods can continue between the two nations in the case of a no-deal Brexit after 31 December.

Trade talks between the UK and EU have broken down over the previous week, with Boris Johnson walking away from the negotiating table last Friday.

Read more: Brexit: EU not serious about restarting trade talks, says minister

A statement from the Norwegian Industry Ministry said it was important to have arrangements in the event that the UK leaves the EU customs union and single market without a trade deal.

Norway, while not a member of the customs union, is part of the EU’s single market due to its European Economic Area membership.

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“Norway and Britain realise it is unrealistic to have a deal in place by Jan. 1 and so have put in place a temporary agreement for goods,” the statement read.

The Norwegian government said it was also looking into closing temporary arrangements with Britain on services and investments as well.

Brussels struggles

Downing Street and Brussels have been publicly sparring over trade talks this week, with Boris Johnson saying he will only return to negotiating unless the EU makes several key compromises.

This morning, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier made loud overtures to the UK by indicating he was willing to compromise to get a trade deal in place before 31 December.

Read more: Brexit: EU vows to ‘intensify’ trade talks to get UK back to negotiating table

“An agreement is possible if we are both ready to work constructively and in a spirit of compromise over the next days, on the basis of legal texts,” he said.

A Number 10 spokesperson said it would “study carefully what was said” and that chief UK negotiator Lord David Frost would speak with Barnier today.

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