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UK strikes trade pact with Norway, Iceland for no-deal Brexit scenario

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UK strikes trade pact with Norway, Iceland for no-deal Brexit scenario

The U.K. reached an agreement with Norway and Iceland to maintain streamlined trade relations in the event that the U.K. crashes out of the European Union without a withdrawal agreement, British Trade Minister Liam Fox said.

Fox's department said the trade agreement will be formally signed next week, subject to final legal checks, Reuters reported.

The deal would ensure the extension of zero tariffs on industrial goods, including Norway's natural gas exports, and on established quotas on seafood and agricultural products, Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement from Norway's Foreign Ministry.

Norway and Iceland are not EU member states but are included in the European Economic Area, or EEA, allowing them to be part of the EU's single market.

The U.K.'s trade with the EEA is worth nearly £30 billion, and the agreement with Norway and Iceland is the second-biggest trade deal so far that could be rolled over after Brexit, Fox said on Twitter.

The U.K. is due to leave the EU on March 29, but U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to secure parliamentary approval for her Brexit deal with the EU.

May is expected to ask the EU for an extension, which needs the unanimous approval of the bloc's leaders.

A no-deal Brexit remains the default unless the U.K. Parliament approves a deal and the EU agrees to delay the U.K.'s exit.