Norway to get special treatment during Brexit talks

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-06 19:56:55|Editor: xuxin
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OSLO, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) has decided that Norway, a non-EU country, shall receive special treatment in the negotiations on Britain's exit from the EU, newspaper Aftenposten reported Tuesday.

"We will be kept up to date and we can give suggestions, but we are not directly involved in the negotiations," said Frank Bakke-Jensen, Norwegian minister of EEA (the European Economic Area) and EU affairs.

European Council guidelines state that "Third-country partners (especially EEA) and international organizations will be updated as needed by the EU negotiator about the progress in negotiations with the UK."

Norway and the other two European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, namely Liechtenstein and Iceland, through the EEA Agreement, belong to the internal market.

The 30 countries, including 27 EU countries and three EFTA countries, will remain an area of free flow of labor, goods, capital and services.

As Iceland and Liechtenstein are so small, it is in fact Norway that gets the big advantages, Aftenposten reported.

When EU's main negotiator Michel Barnier visited Norway in the winter, he concluded that the EEA countries should be close to the process, but Bakke-Jensen believes Norway has received more than Barnier had promised.

"Actually, we got more than we originally had been promised," Bakke-Jensen said.

The EU has also concluded that Norway can, if desirable, join the transitional arrangements agreed between Britain and the EU.

Svein Roald Hansen, Norwegian Labor Party's EU political spokesman and representative in Norwegian parliament Storting, told Aftenposten that it "seemed natural for the EEA countries to receive this special treatment."

An agreement between the EU and Britain shall be in place in March 2019.