To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to strengthen relations with Iceland on (a) sustainable fishing and (b) research and cooperation on climate change.
13 January 2021
I signed the UK-Iceland Joint Vision with the Icelandic Foreign Minister on 14 May 2020. It forms the basis for future cooperation on our shared priorities and focusses on seven areas, including sustainable fisheries management and action to tackle climate change.
On 11 November 2020 Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iceland which aims to boost cooperation on fisheries matters. It came into effect on 1 January. It will establish a UK-Iceland Fisheries Dialogue which will allow both countries to share best practice, including in product innovation and the traceability and marketing of seafood products.
The UK and Iceland are like-minded on climate change and we continue to work closely together on climate-related activities, including research in the run-up to COP26. Under the Joint Vision we plan to have at least one joint initiative to strengthen research collaboration in the field of climate change each year. This may be bilateral or may be undertaken through international mechanisms and fora, such as the Arctic Council or Arctic Circle Assembly. British Embassy Reykjavik are hosting a joint UK/Iceland Arctic Marine virtual science session on 23 February, bringing leading UK and Icelandic scientists and other experts together to look at latest research and discuss future collaboration opportunities.