LONDON: Britain and Switzerland will sign an agreement on Monday
to continue trading on preferential terms after Brexit, the British
trade department said, protecting a trade relationship worth 32
billion pounds ($41.41 billion).
The formal signing of the deal, on which agreement had previously
been announced, is one of only handful of concrete steps Britain
has made toward ensuring that all the trade deals it currently
benefits from as an EU member will continue after it leaves the
bloc next month.
“Not only will this help to support jobs throughout the UK but it
will also be a solid foundation for us to build an even stronger
trading relationship with Switzerland as we leave the EU,”
International Trade minister Liam Fox said in a statement.
The deal reflects Switzerland’s “mind the gap” strategy of
ensuring seamless trade ties with Britain, regardless of whether
London is able to strike and approve a formal exit agreement with
Brussels by March 29, the date it is scheduled to leave.
Britain has reached an impasse in its last-minute renegotiation of
an exit deal that it agreed with the EU last year but that was
overwhelmingly rejected by the British parliament in January.
The government said last month it expects Britain will have most of
the agreements it needs to replicate existing trade deals between
the EU and third countries ready by the end of March.
A similar continuity agreement has been announced with Israel, and
‘mutual recognition’ deals have been agreed with Australia and
But the head of the Confederation of British Industry, Carolyn
Fairbairn, said on Sunday the “unfolding nightmare” of
Britain’s exit meant that major trade partners like Japan and
South Korea were reluctant to sign deals until they knew the exact
shape of future EU-Britain ties.
“It will be the decisions that businesses take about jobs and
investment — and they will reduce them — so you have less
potential to trade globally, that will mean less investment in the
future and that will mean fewer jobs in the future,” she told Sky
Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Britain and Switzerland to sign post-Brexit trade agreement