Switzerland has never been part of the European Union (EU). However, it has remained a successfully close partner and is a member of the Shengan Agreement that allows free-travel across member states.
Switzerland has never been part of the European Union (EU). However, it has remained a successfully close partner and is a member of the Shengan Agreement that allows free-travel across member states. Through bilateral treaties the Swiss Confederation has adopted various European Union protocols to allow us to participate in the EU’s single market.
Following the British Prime Minister speech (Theresa May’s 12-point BREXIT ‘blue-print’ speech back in January 2017, our Swiss Foreign Minister (Didier Burkhalter), expressed that whilst Switzerland is keen to discuss closer ties and trade deals with Britain – post-BREXIT, Switzerland will not form an ‘anti-EU’ alliance with them against the EU.
Many business leaders and top Swiss companies were hoping that Switzerland and Britain could work together to better negotiate access terms to the European single-market.
However, the Swiss Government was very fast to approve a plan to make alterations to the bilateral relationship with Britain as a result of their BREXIT referendum in June 2016. Since Britain is one of the main Swiss trading partners, Mr Burkhalter said that Switzerland are fully prepared for the exit of Britain from the European Union. This affirms that whilst political alliances may not be forged between the two countries, Switzerland is as keen as ever to continue to promote and increase trade deals with Britain.
Last year (2016), the Swiss Bankers Association suggested a form of alliance with London, Singapore and Hong to negotiate a deal on having access to the European Markets, with no risk of being hindered with high taxes or tariffs. These types of trade deals and relationships, however varied they may turn out to be, are extremely important, particularly to the Swiss Banking and Pharmaceutical sectors.
This ultimately means that our relationships with our clients based all over the United Kingdom, will prosper and expand. We hope to be able to offer more funding and finance facilities to British firms, including import and export financing and advice.