Árni Thór Sigurdsson, chairman of the parliamentary group of the Left-Green Movement, the Social Democrats’ coalition party in the government, said it isn’t certain that Iceland’s current membership talks with the European Union will end with an agreement on which the nation will vote in a referendum.
“It could happen that a situation comes up where we would have to discuss in parliament whether we should continue with this process, that at some point in time we would have to reevaluate our interests in light of the development of the negotiation,” Sigurdsson told Fréttabladid. “But that point in time isn’t here yet.”
European affairs were thoroughly discussed at a meeting with the Left-Greens’ parliamentary group on Monday. It was attended by officials and negotiators from the field of fisheries and agriculture who answered the questions of MPs. The purpose was for MPs to understand the position and development of the situation.
The talks are currently in an evaluation process where Icelandic laws and EU laws are compared to find out where they coincide and what issues have to be negotiated.
Sigurdsson said it is pointless to consider terminating membership talks before the actual negotiation begins. Once negotiations have begun it will be clear whether it is in Iceland’s interest to reevaluate the application, which could take place at the Althingi parliament.
Monday’s meeting was also held to reconcile disputes within the party. The best approach for reconciliation was thought to be a factual discussion on the main issues of disagreement—some Left-Green MPs have declared their opposition to EU membership, for example.
Sigurdsson said people had moved closer towards their goal of cooperation at the meeting. The atmosphere was good and the exchange of opinion factual, he stated.