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New but same Switzerland formalises post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK

handshake

The deal will also apply to Liechtenstein - represented by foreign minister Aurelia Frick - under the Swiss-Liechtenstein Customs Union.

(Keystone)

The two countries have signed a post-Brexit trade deal that would cover most of the existing agreements that govern relations with the EU.

Swiss Economics Minister Guy Parmelin signed the deal with the British Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, in the Swiss capital on Monday.

The new deal will replace those with the European Union (EU) and cover the 1972 Free Trade Agreement, the Agreement on Public Procurement, the Agreement on the Fight against Fraud, part of the Agreement on Mutual Recognition in Relation to Conformity Assessment and the 1999 Agreement on Agriculture.

However, other EU agreements on equivalency in certain areas like agriculture and customs cannot be replicated in their entirety at this stage, said a government statement.

The new trade deal will come into effect after the end of the Brexit transition period. Should the UK leave the EU without a deal on March 29, then the deal with Switzerland will be applicable from March 30. An additional agreement was also signed that applies the provisions of the Swiss-UK trade deal to Liechtenstein as well.

In 2017, the UK was the sixth-biggest market for Swiss exports (CHF11.4 billion, $11.36 billion) and the eighth-largest source of imports (CHF6 billion).

swissinfo.ch/ac

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