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Trip to London

Meeting to address British-Swiss ties post-Brexit

A delegation from Switzerland will visit Britain to discuss the countries’ future economic ties and agreements following Brexit.

Pierre Alain Eltschinger, a spokesperson from the Swiss foreign ministry, confirmed to swissinfo.ch that the visit will take place “in the coming weeks”.

“An exchange of opinions between representatives from Switzerland and Great Britain is planned with relation to the bilateral economic ties between the countries and the negotiations taking place related to Britain’s exit from the European Union,” Eltschinger elaborated.

The meeting comes after preparations by the Swiss government that began in earnest the moment Britain voted to leave the EU, according to a report in the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper.

“We may have been better prepared for Brexit than the Brits themselves,” an individual close to the negotiations told the Tages-Anzeiger.

Possible specific topics of discussion for the two countries include Britain’s return to the EFTA intergovernmental trade organisation and free trade area, of which it was a part before it joined the EU. Current EFTA members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. According to the Tages-Anzeiger, Switzerland would be most interested in negotiating its own free trade agreement with Britain that would come into force after Brexit officially took place.

Other areas the countries will need to discuss at the meeting include open skies and airspace, tax deals and security policy.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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