Home » Politics » Liz Truss starts crunch trade talks with Greenland – would be bumper deal for UK fishermen
Liz Truss starts crunch trade talks with Greenland – would be bumper deal for UK fishermen
June 20, 2021
Greenland election a 'referendum' on mining says expert
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Greenland’s Foreign Minister Pele Broberg held talks with British officials and Denmark Ambassador Dominic Schroeder to forge closer ties with Britain. The meeting took place as the Greenlandic politician held talks with Danish PM Mette Frederiksen to give Greenland a more active and prominent role in the Arctic Council, a high-level forum of Arctic states.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands are sovereign territories under the Kingdom of Denmark and have extensive self-government, but a portion of issues are handled by Copenhagen under the Realm of the Danish Crown.
However, Greenland is responsible for agreeing to their own trade deals and new Prime Minister Múte Bourup Egede is keen to forge new relations with Britain after winning May’s crunch elections.
UK officials are keen to take advantage of Greenland’s rich mineral wealth and fish which include cod, haddock and cold water prawns.
A UK Government source said they were on “the early steps to forging closer ties” with Nuuk.
They added: “Greenland is a special place and is highly desired especially for fish.
“A potential deal is a no-brainer and a clear Brexit win for the UK and Boris.”
SNP MP Brendan O’Hara, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Greenland said it was important to build “closer” links between both countries.
The APPG for Greenland meets on a regular basis with Greenland ministers there to strengthen ties between politicians in both parliaments.
Dr Dwayne Ryan Menezes, Director of the Greenland APPG and managing Director of the Polar Research and Policy Initiative said the need for a Greenland trade deal was “important.”
According to the Polar Research and Policy Initiative, Greenland exported an estimated 11,251 tonnes of fish products to the UK, valued at around £80.5 million.
The products included mainly cold-water prawns, cod, haddock, Greenland halibut and snow crab.
Dr Menzies also pointed out the UK has the largest commercial footprint for any single country in Greenland.
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At least 16 firms holding mining licenses in Greenland headquartered in, listed in, or substantially connected to, the UK.
But Department of International Trade figures reveals trade between the countries has increased since Brexit by 8.3 percent with £13 million of goods exchanged between the two countries in 2020.
Greenland was the first country to quit the EU in 1985 and is now on a path to seeking independence from Denmark.
The Arctic island was a Danish colony until 1953 before becoming “self-governing territory” in 1979.
However, the economy still heavily depends on subsidies from Denmark, which amount to £446 million per year – a third of Greenland’s budget.