Britain strikes free trade deal with Norway, Iceland

Tariffs of up to 277% on cheese exported from Britain are set to be cut after a new trade deal was signed with NorwayIceland and Liechtenstein.

International Trade Secretary announced the deal was agreed in principle on Friday, and said it was the first to include dedicated chapters on digital trade and small businesses.

Exports to the three countries can be done using digital documents, contracts and signatures, the Department for International Trade said.

Norwehian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (R) and Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybo hold a press conference on the status of free trade negotiations with the United Kingdom. Photo: Gorm Kallestad//dpa

And it said the agreement significantly cuts tariffs as high as 277% for exporters to Norway of West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar, Traditional Welsh Caerphilly, and Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.

There are also tariff reductions and quotas on pork, poultry and other goods, and UK wines and spirits including Scotch Whisky will also now be recognised in Norway and Iceland.

While import tariffs on shrimps, prawns and haddock will be reduced, pushing down costs for UK fish processing and helping support some 18,000 jobs in that industry in Scotland, East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.International trade minister Ranil Jayawardena added: “This deal shows that the United Kingdom will continue to be a trade partner of choice, as we set the global trade agenda in areas like e-commerce and climate change.”