A report by the House of Lords European Affairs Committee claims that the fish processing industry and consumers could see the price of fish reduced amid the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The Trade Ministry said the deal will help digital, financial and professional business services and cut tariffs for British exports which will also boost the trading relationship which was valued at £21.6bn in 2020.
The agreement is far more significant for Norway and Iceland than London, despite the UK is Norway’s top trading partner outside the EU.
As the UK is now not part of the European Common Fisheries Policy (ECFP) it must only deal with Norway.
The government signed the free trade deal at the end of July and British fishing fleets are most eager to fish in the sub-Arctic oceans.
The House of Lords European Affairs Committee has published a report on the deal, which says, “Tariffs on the import into the UK of shrimps and prawns are removed, delivering savings of between £1m and £2.7m annually.
“While benefiting businesses in Norway, this should also reduce costs for the UK fish processing industry (employing around 18,000 people across the UK, almost three-quarters based in Scotland, East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire), and ultimately for consumers.
“On the other hand, Norway has agreed to cut certain tariffs for imports of UK fish feed from 10.5% to zero, thereby achieving annual savings of some £4.1m.”
Lord Kinnoull, chairman of the committee, said, “We welcome the government’s successful conclusions of negotiations on a free trade agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and the speed with which agreement was reached.
“While the agreement is in part an exercise in restoring the position and seeking to avoid the imposition of new barriers to trade, rather than in removing existing barriers, its impact upon trade in goods and services could be significant, particularly in the long term.
“We do however continue to have concerns about the timing and level of scrutiny and engagement for the free trade agreements that are being struck, especially in a deal involving two of the UK’s immediate neighbours in Iceland and Norway.
“It is of vital importance that Parliament at Westminster and the devolved legislatures have the opportunity to examine these agreements and feed into the negotiation process before it concludes.”