Could the UK find an ally in Switzerland?

Could the UK find an ally in Switzerland?

The UK is not the only state in the midst of a lengthy debate with Brussels. The Swiss government is facing its own dilemma in relations with the EU. The European Commission has put the screws on Bern to accept a new “institutional framework agreement” to govern bilateral cooperation with the EU. We discuss if a UK Swiss alliance is likely after Brexit.

Freedom of movement issues

This agreement would comprise the Swiss goverment’s ability to act independently and with complete autonomy in matters of competition, tax and labour legislation. Additionally, the new EU agreement would expose Swiss borders to Freedom of Movement issues.

The populist view in Switzerland is to reject the EU agreement, however, this could force the EU to refuse to extend MIFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) Equivalence, which would isolate the Swiss Exchanges, SIX and BS, from the rest of the continent.

Possible alliance between Bern and London

This creates an obvious alliance between Bern and London that both countries are undoubtedly considering. Switzerland will be keenly reviewing the outcome of the Brexit process and will be considering options accordingly.

Possibly related to the political will and possibly just good pragmatism, the UK’s Department for International Trade has announced that a UK and Switzerland Trade Agreement will take effect on 29 March 2019 – if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, or at the end of an implementation period.

This is a bilateral agreement providing for economic and trade relations between both countries.

UK Swiss alliance – where to find out more

If you have concerns about the impact of Brexit to your business or wish to de-risk a key programme or project, please speak to us at Roc Technologies. We have access to all project, programme, portfolio and PMO resources to help your organisation remain on track through this period of instability.

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Maureen Robson

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