Boris Johnson has laid down a challenging red line ahead of Britain’s trade negotiations with the EU, warning that he is prepared to walk away from the negotiating table. This afternoon, Downing Street told the Financial Times: “The UK’s primary objective in the negotiations is to ensure we reestablish our political and economic independence on January 1, 2021.” Government ministers will sign off a negotiating mandate to the EU discussions on Tuesday, setting out Britain’s objective of a “Canada-style” free-trade arrangement with few tariffs on merchandise — an arrangement ruled out by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
Mr. Johnson is also expecting to start trade discussions with the US in the next few weeks.
If Britain succeeds in securing a free trade arrangement with the US shortly, it may leverage this advantage when negotiating with Brussels, where discussions are anticipated to proceed with considerable difficulty.
There’s another trade deal the UK could make, however.
The eurosceptic President said: “First and foremost the outcome [of the Brexit referendum] is that the most serious setback the leadership of the European Union has seen for a lengthy time as well as a verdict so gloomy that it is hard to locate words to describe this historical occasion.
“It’s now evident here at the North Atlantic is going to be a triangle of countries that stand outside of the European Union: Greenland, Iceland, Great Britain, the Faroe Islands and Norway.
“This key area from the North is going to be outside of the effect of the European Union.”
Mr. Grimsson claimed that following Brexit, the countries could have potentially played a big role.
He said “it’s all about trade, diplomacy, commodities and several different areas”, stressing the north, would become more significant not only in a European but at a global context as well.
Britain is Iceland’s single most important foreign exchange market and trade between the countries is currently governed by the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, due to finish in December 2020.
Iceland and the UK are set to start trade negotiations within another couple of months.
While there has not been mention of a”Nordic alliance”, until Britain abandoned the bloc on January 31, the two countries agreed”to continue our close connection today and in the future, and also to take best advantage of the opportunities that will arise”.
Iceland is in one market accepting the free movement of goods, services, capital and people to and from EU countries but it is not a member of the eurozone.
Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who is a member of the Green Party and opposes Iceland joining the EU, maintained this arrangement suited her country since it gained from access to European markets while still preserving”space to do our own thing”.
Iceland’s former fishing minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson clarified in an 2016 interview how his country proved to be much “better off” outside the bloc and maintained that a key factor in their program withdrawal was that the desire to retain control of their waters.
The country now has one of the most modern and effective fishing businesses on the planet.
He told the BBC: “I’d not join the European Union.
“There is a life beyond it, as we have proven.
“We now have one of the most important and one of the most powerful fisheries in the world that’s sustainable without any subsidies from the country.”