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Hard Brexit Brits to keep access to Swiss labour market in case of no deal

Pins with miniature flags of Britain and Switzerland

Under the deal, simplified requirements for working would be introduced both in Switzerland and Britain in case of a 'No deal' Brexit.

(© Keystone / Peter Klaunzer)

The Swiss government has approved a temporary agreement with Britain on access to the Swiss labour market. It will only apply in case of a disorderly departure of Britain from the European Union.

Under the accord, Switzerland and the UK would introduce simplified requirements for working in either country replacing the current accord on the free movement of people with the EU.

The simplified procedure includes dispensing with checks on professional qualifications and waiving the precedence for workers already living in Switzerland.

It makes the admission of British citizens to the Swiss labour market subject to annual quotas that have already been defined by the government.

The deal is part of government’s ‘Mind the Gap’ strategyexternal link, which is “aimed at safeguarding as far as possible existing rights and obligations” according to a statementexternal link published on Wednesday.

The government said it will consult the relevant parliamentary committees before signing the accord, which will remain valid until December 2020.

Switzerland and Britain have concluded a series of accords on issues including immigration, residency rights, transport and trade, which would kick in in the case of a ‘No deal’ Brexit.

Amidst a political deadlock, the EU has extended the deadline until the end of October for Britain to ratify a draft Brexit deal.

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