On June 23, 2016, a British referendum on Brexit took place. In October 2016, the Federal Council approved "Mind the Gap" strategy. It is called upon to protect as far as possible the mutual rights and obligations that have developed between Switzerland and England within the EU. Over the past, an interdepartmental steering group led by the FDA has prepared for the conclusion five new Swiss-British agreements affecting trade, road transport, air transport, insurance, and the rights of citizens. The Agreement on the Rights of Citizens is based on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. It aims to protect the rights acquired before the end of the transition period by Swiss citizens in the UK and British citizens in Switzerland.
The new agreements enter into force with the end of the transition period. During this time, Switzerland together with Great Britain could supplement or further develop these agreements. Their task is to provide an alternative solution, taking into account the termination of bilateral agreements in the framework of cooperation between Switzerland and the EU.
Due to the importance of economic relations between Switzerland and the UK, they need a legal framework for the period after Brexit. Its further development seems possible and appropriate (Mind the Gap +). Among the trading partners of Switzerland in 2018, the United Kingdom ranked sixth. The volume of trade amounted to more than 36 billion Swiss francs. In 2017, Great Britain held the third position among the markets for the export of Swiss services, and Switzerland - the third in British direct investment. The annual number of flights between Switzerland and the United Kingdom is about 58,600. Approximately 34,500 Swiss citizens reside in the United Kingdom, and 43,000 British citizens reside in Switzerland.