Interesting insights from Icelandic foreign minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson on the Today programme this morning. He says “everyone” wants a free trade deal with Britain and urged the EU to sort a deal “as soon as possible”.
Thordarson: “It’s clear that when Britain starts to negotiate their own free trade deals then everyone wants to make a free trade deal with Britain.”
Humphrys: “Is that right? Everyone wants to make a free trade deal with Britain?”
Thordarson: “You’re the fifth largest economy in the world. I mean, everyone wants to sell you good and services. It’s just as simple as that. Then is the arrangement between the EU and UK, and honestly I think it’s just very important that a solution is found as soon as possible, because it’s very important that we will not see, and I say the same thing to both sides, it’s very important that we will not see any technical or trade restrictions now in Europe. That would be a step backwards and everyone would lose from that. You can debate if the EU would lose more than the UK, that’s the not the thing, everyone would lose.”
Thordarson also explained the trade benefits to Iceland of not being a member of the EU. Humphrys didn’t sound convinced…