Norway and the United Kingdom have reached a bilateral agreement on fisheries, the Norwegian government confirmed on Wednesday, with this being done ahead of schedule as the UK leaves the European Union’s single market at the end of 2020.
The framework agreement reached, which will come into effect on January 1, will govern control measures, licenses and research, whilst also facilitating a mutual exchange of quotas and also providing access to each other’s waters more easily, the Norwegian government said through a statement.
Whilst Norway is not a member of the EU, it still needs to negotiate separate post-Brexit trade relations with the UK, due to its integration within the bloc’s common market.
The UK formally left the EU in January, however, the two parties are still looking to finalise a trade deal before the status-quo transition agreement ends at the end of 2020.
However, agreement between the UK and the EU has stalled, with them failing to agree on fisheries, fair competition and also on how to settle disputes between one another.
A few weeks ago, French MEP Pierre Karleskind and Barrie Deas of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation clashed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, as the EU and the UK continued to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal, with Deas claiming that what the UK is seeking is “actually what already exists between the EU and Norway”.
Karleskind responded to this by stating that “The only thing is that before getting an agreement with Norway there were already fishermen from Europe going in the seas. Because there’s a history between us.”
He went on to add “Why do you want to destroy one third of the European fishing fleet to build your own? Just to build new vessels in the UK?”
The deal between Norway and the UK will be signed in London later on Wednesday, according to the Norwegian Ministry of Industry and Fisheries.