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Norway warns Britain risks 'very hard Brexit'

Friday, January 06, 2017 - 01:33

Britain lacks experience in international negotiations due to its long membership of the European Union and this can slow talks, the prime minister of non-EU Norway has told Reuters, adding that she feared ''a very hard Brexit''. Ciara Lee reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER, ERNA SOLBERG, SAYING: "I fear a very hard Brexit but I hope we will find a better solution." Norwegian Prime Minister not pulling any punches when it comes to Britain's departure from the EU. And her expectations for the divorce proceedings aren't much brighter. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER, ERNA SOLBERG, SAYING: "Their speed is limited by the fact that it is such a long time since they have negotiated that type of treatment." Though not in the EU, Norway is a member of the bloc's single market and allows free movement for EU workers. It also contributes to the EU budget. Britain wants to launch a two-year leaving process in March, with wranglings expected to be some of the most complicated international talks Britain has had since World War Two. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "We have moved from a situation where we are in control up to a point. We were influencing what was happening in Europe. To one where we have become supplicant really. We are going to go with our demands and hopes. And we may get nothing." In a move that has highlighted Brexit tensions, Britain's ambassador to the EU Ivan Rogers, resigned this week. In his letter of resignation he referred to a lack of negotiating experience within the British civil service. And a further blow came from a former top UK official at the European Commission. Jonathan Faull told the BBC Britain will not be able to buy access to the single market. He said paying to tap in to the tariff-free zone was not how the EU worked. It all casts doubts on mooted government plans for Britain's future relationship with the bloc.

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Norway warns Britain risks 'very hard Brexit'

Friday, January 06, 2017 - 01:33