Norway Seeks Clarity on Brexit Before Making Deal on U.K. Trade

(Bloomberg) -- Norway, the biggest exporter of gas to the U.K., will wait for clarity on the U.K.’s future relationship with the European Union before cementing its own future relationship on trade with Britain, the country’s foreign minister said.

“I hope to see great cooperation between Britain and Norway and trade arrangements that are as good as possible,” Boerge Brende said in a Bloomberg interview in London Monday. “It’s premature to discuss this in a formal way. It has to be informal dialogues before the formalities between the U.K. and the EU are decided on.”

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 extricate itself from 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.

The U.K. adopting a Norway-style relationship with the EU is “not really on the agenda,” Brende said, ahead of meetings with U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis.

“They will probably inform me where they stand” on the Brexit proceedings, Brende said. “They’ve been looking at the Canadian approach, the Swiss approach, finding a British way, but this is up for them to decide,” he said.