|Head of State
|Harald V of Norway
Erna Solberg (Conservative Party, since 2013)
|Size||385,178 km2 (239,338 sq mi)|
|Next legislative election||2021|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||19 September 2016|
|Relationship with UK||Ahead of upcoming talks on Britain’s exit from the EU, Norway will want to defend its interests, particularly in terms of the impact on Brexit as a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Trade between the UK and Norway is worth around 300 billion Nok a year. Britain is the third largest market for Norwegian seafood and the largest importer of Norwegian oil and gas.|
|What Ms Solberg said on Brexit||8 July 2016
There “won’t be any bilateral agreements between Norway and Britain before a solution is in place with the EU.”
European Affairs Minister Elisabeth Vik Aspaker on 9 August 2016
“It’s not certain that it would be a good idea to let a big country into this organisation (EFTA). It would shift the balance, which is not necessarily in Norway’s interests.”
5 January 2017
“I fear a very hard Brexit, but I hope we will find a better solution.”
“I hope that we will find a solution that leaves Britain as a partner in a lot of the European activities that we need them to be a partner in.”
EU Affairs Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen on 18 January 2017
“Britain alone would have a difficult task to get as good a deal as Norway has today.”
EU Affairs Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen on 22 March 2017
“We must secure seamless continuation of the EEA cooperation with the EU while safeguarding our important interests in relations to Britain.”
|Norway’s priorities||Norway held its general election on 11 September. Erna Solberg’s Conservatives, along with their coalition partner the Progress Party (FRP) and two other centre-right allies, have secured a majority of 89 seats in the 169-seat parliament, making them able to continue to govern.
This Government’s priorities are to lower taxes and diversify the economy away from oil revenue, which decreased significantly when oil prices crashed in 2014. The Government wants to boost international competitiveness through privatisation and ensure free public health care and education.
Support has surged for anti-EU Center Party, which wants to change the European Economic Area agreement that gives Norway access to the EU’s single market.
This right-wing Government also seeks to reduce immigration.
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