Iceland government prepares for Brexit fallout

Photo: AFP

An Icelandic cabinet meeting decided last Thursday to set up an inter-ministerial committee to deal with the effects of the possible exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU).

“Our quality of life in Iceland depends to a great extent on our trade relations with neighbouring countries and how well we succeed in generating foreign currency revenue for the national economy,” says Iceland’s Foreign Minister Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, who proposed the new committee.

“The UK is one of Iceland’s most important trade partners and we want to prepare ourselves carefully for Brexit,” she explains.

Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Eggert Jóhannesson

“Brexit will clearly have major economic and political repercussions in Europe. It is important for us to analyses the possible scenarios carefully, monitor how things progress, and protect Icelandic interests where necessary,” the Minister says.

The committee will consist of the Prime Minister and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Finance & Economic Affairs, Home Affairs, Fisheries & Agriculture, and Industry & Trade.

A ministry-wide ‘Brexit Unit’ will also be set up in the Icelandic Foreign Ministry to coordinate action within the administration, keep the Iceland parliament informed, and ensure proper cooperation among stakeholders.

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