Theresa May hit with transition period blow as 'Norway piles pressure on EU'

Posted On: 
16th January 2018

Theresa May is reportedly set to be handed less favourable terms in any transition period following Brexit amid growing pressure from Norwegian officials.

Norway is said to be upping pressure on the EU to ensure they are not receiving a worse deal than Britain
Credit: 
PA Images

According to The Guardian, repeated representations have been made to EU officials by Oslo over fears that the UK could reach a better deal in its relationship with the bloc than Norway currently enjoys.

The Nordic nation - which is outside of the EU but within the single market and thus subject to rules such as freedom of movement - has sparked fears in Brussels that it will push to renegotiate its ties should Britain receive overly generous terms, according to senior diplomatic sources.

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A senior official told the paper: “[The Norwegians] are following this very closely to make sure that we are not giving the UK a much more favourable deal.”

The revelations come as a leaked document to the paper shows the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will demand free movement of people continues throughout the transition period and up until 31 December 2020.

The UK had wanted the agreement on citizens to be limited to those who moved to Britain before 29 March 2017, when Theresa May triggered article 50.

The report also insists that the UK will only continue to enjoy the benefits of trade agreements with non-EU countries unless “authorised” by Brussels and will remain tied to the terms of the common fisheries policy.

And it is understood that the EU is not willing to commit to settling the terms of a transition deal by March, as hoped for by UK ministers.