British expats face quotas in Switzerland

The Swiss government has set a quota of 3,500 British nationals that can enter the Alpine nation to work. Keystone

The Swiss government says it will limit the number of Britons who can enter the country to live and work if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal on March 29. Britons will be treated like all other non-EU citizens.

This content was published on February 13, 2019 - 14:28

The Federal Council (executive body) on Wednesday said no more than 3,500 Britons would be given permission to work in Switzerland if Britain is involved in a no-deal Brexit.

The government said in a press releaseExternal link that the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) between Switzerland and Britain would no longer apply from March 30. British citizens entering Switzerland for the first time will be accorded the same rights as other non-EU citizens who face similar quotas by nationality.

The limit is set for the period of March 30 until December 31 and consists of 2,100 residence permitsExternal link (B) and 1,400 short-stay permits (L).

The quotas would not apply to the roughly 42,000 Britons already living in Switzerland, according to the Swiss News Agency.

+ Read more about how Brexit is affecting both British nationals in Switzerland and Swiss in the UKExternal link

The government said the decision was based on Swiss economic and local interests in the case of an abrupt change in the status of British citizens and potential “undesirable” competition for jobs between British citizens and other third-country nationals.

This is part of Switzerland’s “Mind the GapExternal link” strategy designed to put in place measures to adapt to a no-deal Brexit.

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