Iceland buries EU membership

The Icelandic government has dissolved its EU accession team after deciding to give up on talks to join the European Union.

“We have dissolved our task force and negotiation teams, and there won’t be any other summits,” foreign minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told the Icelandic parliament.

Sveinsson’s eurosceptic coalition promised to end the EU talks when it took power in April, with its EU negotiators put on prolonged vacation since May.

Iceland launched its EU bid after suffering a financial meltdown in 2009, but the country’s economy later recovered and public opinion turned against the EU.

The main sticking point in EU relations is fisheries.

During a visit to Brussels in July, its Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, said the EU should try to replenish its fish stocks instead of pressing Iceland to catch fewer fish.

He offered “assistance” on replenishment and urged EU countries to base their arguments on “science,” saying that more fish are migrating northward due to warmer seas.

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