Project Brexit

Iceland

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President

Prime Minister

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (Independent, since June 2016)

Bjarni Benediktsson (Independence Party, since October 2016)

Population 323,002
Size 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi)
Next presidential election

Next legislative election

2020

28 October 2017

Last meeting with Theresa May None held to date
Relationship with UK Iceland’s priority is to develop a trade deal with the UK, its largest trading partner. Foreign Minister Lilja Alfredsdottir has said Iceland would welcome the UK into the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), or seek to develop a new bilateral agreement.
What Iceland said on Brexit Former Prime Minister Johannsson on 25 June 2016

“Iceland and Norway will now, in a totally new way, become participants in negotiations that must take place between the European Union and the United Kingdom, and the European Union and member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) with this new triangle of countries in the North Atlantic.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson on 21 April 2017

“What does erecting trade barriers mean? It simply means that the politicians in the remaining 27 EU countries will have to explain to the people who could lose their jobs, that they are doing it because they are so ‘tough’ on the Brits.”

Iceland’s priorities Elections in Iceland took place following the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson who was mentioned in the Panama Papers as holding offshore accounts to evade taxes, which shattered the confidence of the public.

Now President Guðni Jóhannesson accepted Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s request to dissolve parliament and hold another election following the collapse of the government. A coalition partner quit after it was revealed Benediktsson’s father wrote a letter supporting a convicted child abuser.

Following the financial crisis, which hit Iceland’s banks very hard, the Government’s priority is to lift remaining capital controls and link its crown to a stable currency to avoid such crises in the future.

Iceland is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as the Schengen passport-free zone and is member of the European single market, though its agriculture and fisheries are excluded. The Government recently decided to ask the Parliament to vote on whether to hold a referendum on joining the European Union.

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