Norway Pleads to Be Included in EU-U.K. Market 'Arrangements'

Norway, the largest natural gas exporter to the U.K., pleaded to be included in any “arrangements” made between the European Union and the U.K. on access to the internal market.

“We would like to have the possibility to be included in EU-U.K. arrangements concerning the internal market -- permanent as well as transitional,” EU Minister Frank Bakke Jensen said in the text of a speech Monday to EU ambassadors in Oslo. “I’m pleased with the willingness to consult closely with us on coming negotiations about the internal market.”

Norway, which has access to the single market through the European Economic Area, finds itself somewhat on the outside as the U.K. seeks to exit the EU. By leaving the EU, Britain will also sever its ties to the EEA, meaning Norway and the U.K. will need to come up with a new arrangement.

Bakke Jensen reiterated that Norway intends to stay in the EEA, which grants it access to the single market and that it will also maintain its other accords with the EU. The country started an “administrative dialogue” with the U.K. in December and has stressed that Norway is not a third party in the the talks, but tied to the EU through the EEA.

“It’s in Norway’s interests to maintain as close trade policy co-operation with the U.K. as possible, with as good access to the British market as possible,” Bakke Jensen said. “At the same time, we intend to maintain the EEA Agreement and Norway’s other agreements with the EU.”

The country wants to discuss future co-operation with the U.K. “in specific terms as soon as the situation permits,” he said.

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