Switzerland signs post-Brexit security provisions with Britain

Karin Keller-Sutter and British Home Secretary Sajid Javid sign the contracts in London. Keystone / Frank Augstein

Switzerland has agreed with Britain to maintain the flow of information on organised crime and terrorism even if Brexit ends with a no-deal situation.

This content was published on July 10, 2019 - 14:45

Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter travelled to London on WednesdayExternal link to sign a memorandum of understanding that would cement policing and security cooperation whatever happens with Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Should Britain leave the EU without a deal, “all information from the British security services will be deleted from key EU databases such as the Schengen Information System,” read a Swiss government statement.

“In this case Switzerland, as indeed all other states in the Schengen Area, would no longer have access to this valuable information, making it all the more necessary to find alternative forms of cooperation and other information channels.”

Switzerland already has agreements on bilateral cooperation on policing matters with 16 countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Austria and some eastern European states.

Keller-Sutter also rubber-stamped a previously announced deal covering workers taking jobs in each other’s respective countries. Switzerland and Britain have already agreed to preserve the rights for existing jobs.

The so-called “fallback agreement”, signed on Wednesday, goes one step to safeguard future access of new Swiss workers to the British labour market and the interests of firms in Switzerland seeking to recruit new British employees.

This agreement would only enter into force in the event of a no-deal Brexit and is limited in duration until December 31, 2020. In the event of an orderly Brexit the EU free movement of persons principle will continue to apply.

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