13 July 2021
Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are part of the European Economic Area (EEA), which means that they apply EU single market rules but are not part of the European Union.
They have become the latest countries to sign a free trade deal with the UK, which International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said will lock in tariff-free trade and secure greater access to their markets for United Kingdom firms.
It is, she went on, the most advanced trade deal that the three countries have ever signed, with “gold standard provisions” in digital trade, mobile roaming and business travel.
The agreement maintains existing access to duty-free quotas for key British exports such as cheese, while offering tariff reductions and quotas on pork, poultry and other goods.
It also recognises the protected status of certain UK wines and spirits, which means that consumers in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can continue to enjoy iconic products, such as Scotch Whisky, with the confidence, Ms Truss said, that they are high quality and the real deal.
“The agreement strongly supports the UK’s ambitions as a global leader on climate and environmental protection,” she continued. “It preserves the UK’s right to regulate to reach our Net Zero target, promotes trade and investment to grow the low carbon economy, and addresses numerous issues related to environmental protection, including biodiversity, forestry and sustainable fisheries.”
The deal will allow high-skilled professionals to enter Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein for business purposes, ensuring that visas are processed within a maximum of 90 days and including professional qualification recognition.
This means that nurses, lawyers, vets and other professionals will have a clear route to apply to have their qualification recognised to work in the partner countries.