Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iceland which will increase cooperation on matters relating to Fisheries. It comes as negotiations between Michel Barnier and Lord Frost remain at an impasse as the UK leaves the Bloc’s fishing policies.
Lord Frost is in Brussels this week for another round of negotiations ahead of a European Council video summit on Thursday which has been touted as a deadline for a draft deal.
The new agreement is the fourth such agreement with Nordic nations and follows Greenland, Norway and Faroe Islands.
Number 10 says the agreement will establish a UK-Iceland Fisheries Dialogue, where both countries can share best practice and cooperate.
In the agreement, which comes into effect on January 1st, the UK and Iceland also recognised the need to promote responsible fisheries to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
Iceland initially expressed a desire for EU membership in 2009 but its foreign minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, said the centre-right government had the European Commission of its decision to drop the application.
In March 2015, Iceland announced it was dropping its bid to join the EU in line with pledges made two years prior by its then-new eurosceptic government.
Victoria Prentis MP, Fisheries Minister, said: “This agreement demonstrates the strong relationship between our two nations on matters including trade and fisheries.
“I would like to thank our Icelandic counterparts for the constructive approach they have adopted throughout these negotiations.
“From the Icelandic side, Britain is an important market for many Icelandic companies and the British government is an important partner for us in many international organisations.”
Shrewsbury Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski, a Brexiteer, also welcomed the news claiming Iceland has shown how “agreements can be made unlike the dogma and intransigence of EU.”
However, Express.co.uk understands Mr Barnier is putting the pressure on Lord Frost as EU coastal states including France demand fair access for their fishermen.
Officials also said the deal will allow businesses will also be able to exchange knowledge on the adoption of new technologies, and ways to enhance the value, traceability and marketing of seafood products.