The statement made by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Secretary of State for International Trade, in the House of Commons on 27 January 2022.
The United Kingdom has today launched negotiations with the Government of Greenland on a continuity free trade agreement to reduce the costs of trading and to identify areas of strategic interest for future co-operation. While we introduced temporary measures to secure some continuity of trade with Greenland at the beginning of 2021, we never closed the door to securing a more permanent arrangement at an appropriate time.
These negotiations will seek to ensure that British firms can once again import popular products from Greenland tariff free. This will also support processing industries in Scotland, the north-east and north-west of England. As Greenland is the largest supplier of cold-water prawns in the world, as well as being a leading source of fish, these negotiations will help ensure the stability and resilience of British supply chains for consumers and the hospitality sector. The negotiations will also lay the groundwork for potentially tackling market access barriers for British businesses in Greenland in the longer term, including by liberalising professional business services trade, facilitating inward investment, and agreeing mutual recognition and double taxation arrangements. These discussions will therefore pave the way to potentially unlocking significant new opportunities for British exporters and investors looking to extend their presence across the Arctic.
Additionally, Greenland is an important partner in the Arctic—an increasingly important geopolitical area. These negotiations provide an opportunity to establish a dialogue through which to broaden our co-operation with Greenland on our priorities, such as climate change, science and research, and potentially the supply of critical minerals.
As the Arctic continues to grow in strategic importance, Greenland will be a key partner in ensuring a secure, stable, and sustainable future for the region.
In parallel, we expect the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to enter into negotiations with Greenland on our access to Greenlandic fishing waters.
This agreement will constitute Greenland’s first bilateral agreement with a third partner country, and we look forward to using this opportunity to solidify and strengthen our trading relationship in the future.
We will ensure Parliament is regularly updated on the progress of these negotiations.