The Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom sign free trade agreement
(Poul Michelsen, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, George Hollingbery, Minister of State for Trade Policy and George Eustice Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.)
The Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom have signed a free trade agreement which will ensure that trade between the countries will continue after the UK leaves the EU.
“The United Kingdom is not only our closest geographical neighbour, it is one of the most important trading partners for the Faroe Islands. This agreement means that our exports to the UK can continue unhindered when the UK leaves the EU. The economic significance of this agreement for the Faroe Islands cannot be overstated, It will also provide a firm basis on which we can expand our future trade relations with the UK,” says Poul Michelsen, Faroese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Trade between the Faroe Islands and the UK is currently covered by the terms of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement which the Faroe Islands have with the EU. Faroese exports to the UK represent around 20% of total Faroese exports to the EU, and some 10% of total Faroese exports globally, with a value between 90 and 100 million GBP. Imports from the UK to the Faroe Islands had a total value of 284 million DKK in 2017, equivalent to roughly 33 million GBP.
The Faroese government has been working steadily to guarantee Faroese interests since the 2016 UK decision to leave the EU. A working group was established shortly after the referendum to follow the Brexit process, and Faroese ministers in both trade and fisheries have been engaging regularly with their UK counterparts to pave the way for strong and active future bilateral relations. The Faroese Representation in London also has a key role in maintaining and enhancing official links between Faroese and UK authorities.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Poul Michelsen will shortly be presenting the agreement to the Faroese Parliament for approval. The aim is to ensure that it is formally ready to be implemented as soon as the UK leaves the EU, also if this happens without the UK and the EU having an agreed transition period after 29 March.