Consultation on labour market-related fallback agreement in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit

Keywords: Brexit

Press Release, The Federal Council, 14.08.2019

On 17 April, the Federal Council approved a temporary agreement with the United Kingdom on admission to the labour market in the event of the UK’s disorderly departure from the European Union. Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter signed the agreement in London on 10 July. At its meeting on 14 August, the Federal Council opened consultation proceedings on the agreement. The consultation runs until 21 November.

The Federal Council has taken various steps to safeguard good bilateral relations between Switzerland and the UK beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. Switzerland has already signed agreements with the UK on trade, road and air transport, and insurance. On 17 April, the Federal Council approved a temporary agreement with the UK on admission to the labour market in the event of the UK’s disorderly departure from the EU. This temporary agreement is intended to cushion the impact of an abrupt change from the free movement of persons to third country status and ensure legal and planning certainty for the Swiss economy.

The agreement signed by Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter in London on 10 July is intended to allow UK citizens facilitated access to the Swiss labour market. The separate quotas for UK citizens set by the Federal Council on 22 March would apply. The agreement will only enter into force in the event of a no-deal Brexit and is limited in duration until the end of 2020. In the event of an orderly Brexit the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the EU would continue to apply during the transition period.

The Federal Council has now opened consultation proceedings on the agreement, which will run until 21 November. The Foreign Affairs Committees of the National Council and the Council of States approved the temporary application of the agreement in the event of a no-deal Brexit back in the spring.

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