“It is quite clear that when Britain starts to negotiate their own free-trade deal, everyone will want to make a free-trade deal with Britain. You are the fifth largest economy in the world. Everyone wants to sell you goods and services. It’s as simple as that,” Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson told radio hosts at BBC Radio 4’s Today program yesterday.
Guðlaugur claimed that free markets are essential for nations to prosper, using Iceland as an example of how beneficial EFTA can be without a direct EU membership.
“We were probably the poorest nation in Western Europe in the beginning of the last century. Now we are quite wealthy. And the reason, one of the reasons, is a fundamental thing, that we have access to other markets and our markets are open.”
Last year the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, which takes effect in 2019. Being an important trade partner with nations such as Iceland, the UK’s decision to leave has prompted the Icelandic government to renegotiate with the UK.