United Kingdom signs post-Brexit trade continuity deal with Switzerland

Frederick Owens
February 11, 2019

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Tony Blair - who wanted the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union - has told Sky News that a no-deal exit could be "devastating" for Northern Ireland's peace process.

The government has signed a trade deal with Switzerland, heralded as the most significant such agreement in the run-up to Brexit. It is paramount that the British and Swiss governments have secured the continuation of a huge trading relationship with this agreement.

It is understood that the target is now to have deals in place that would cover "around 90%" of British trade within the existing agreements.

Dr Fox says he has had assurances of support from dozens of countries around the world, but has so far only signed a handful of agreements. "The party system provides the foundation for parliamentary democracy; now it's broken, our unstable hung parliament in Westminster is wobbling more and more", according to Sky News journalist Adam Boulton.

The Brexiteer said: "Switzerland is one of the most valuable trading partners that we are seeking continuity for, accounting for more than £32 billion worth of trade a year". "There needs to be a day when Parliament says that's it, enough is enough".

Britain has already said those citizens will continue to be provided with access to the NHS and welfare if no Brexit deal is agreed with the EU.

"That gives that sense of timetable, clarity, and objective on what we're doing with the European Union - taking that work forward and our determination to get a deal - but equally knowing that role that parliament very firmly has", Brokenshire told the BBC.

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"The trading world is a particularly unemotional one with a lot of hard-headed people who will want to get the best agreement".

While US banks want Britain to maintain the closest possible ties with the European Union after Brexit, UK banks and insurers are anxious they do not become beholden to new laws made by Brussels, two of the people said.

The agreement simplifies trade and allows businesses to continue trading freely, without any additional tariffs.

Dr Fox acknowledged that having zero tariffs could damage parts of the economy such as agriculture while helping others by pushing down the cost of imported parts and consumer goods. The previous similar debate on January 29 was on a motion which simply asked lawmakers to agree that they had considered May's latest statement on the Brexit negotiations.

The new trade deal will come into effect after the end of the Brexit transition period.

He added: "It is no surprise that countries in the market are acting freely in their own interest rather than just meeting the UK's expectations".

"I think that you would need to have a time limit".

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