The Swiss Economy Minister wants to conclude a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom, as soon as Brexit comes into force. The British government is not authorized to negotiate new trade agreements until the kingdom is a member of the EU. A Brexit talks with Brussels could last until 2019. Nevertheless, the Swiss minister proposes to organize discussions between London and Bern in the background and in parallel with discussions on Brexit.
“My goal is clear. We should not go a day after the release of UK (EU) without a new valid legislation”, said Johann Schneider-Ammann. “It should be at least no worse than the previous agreement”, added the minister.
During the recent Economic Forum in Davos, the British Trade Minister Liam Fox has expressed a strong interest in an agreement with Switzerland.
“Personally, I would be very happy if Switzerland is one of the first countries to sign a free trade agreement with Britain after Brexit”, adds Johann Schneider-Ammann. Asked about relations with the new administration of President Donald Trump in the US, the Swiss statesman responsible cautiously. “We wait to see what happens with transatlantic free trade agreement TTIP between the EU and the US”, he says. In case of success Switzerland could join the Agreement.
Trump, however, has repeatedly expressed reservations about free trade agreements.