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Switzerland — UK Agreement

February 13, 2019 | Legal Alert

The Switzerland — UK Agreement on safeguarding citizens' rights

An agreement has been advanced between the governments of the United Kingdom and Switzerland, following the impending exit of the UK from the European Union. This bilateral Switzerland — UK Agreement, signed by State Secretary Mario Gattiker and the British Parliamentary Undersecretary, Christopher Heaton-Harris, is aimed at protecting about 43,000 UK citizens living in Switzerland and well over 34,000 Swiss nationals living in the UK. This invariably means that citizens would continue to enjoy virtually all the rights as guaranteed by the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP), protecting their rights to social security, health care, education, residency, an acknowledgment of professional qualifications, amongst others.

It is noteworthy to state that being an agreement approved by the Federal Council on 19 December 2018, it is remedial in nature, only to come into effect at the end of the transition period which is forecasted to be 1 Jan 2021; it will only come into force if the UK eventually leaves the EU with a 'no-deal' on March 29.
Switzerland UK Agreement regarding citizens' rights
With a probable exit of the UK from the EU, Switzerland, in her engineering industry and research sector, fears a set back if no deals can be struck with Britain, as Britain accounts for one of the top markets for Swiss products.

In spite of this foreboding, the government of Switzerland has entered into a bilateral agreement with Britain with respect to trade, insurance, aviation, and road transport. This is one of the core parts of the "Mind the Gap" strategy wherein the Federal Council aims at securing the mutual rights and obligations which are existent, even after UK's exit from the EU.

Efforts have also been made by the Swiss government and UK, aiming to reach a remedial understanding in the eventuality of UK's withdrawal, serving to ameliorate the repercussions of the citizens' freedom of movement and access to employment opportunities in either of the countries.

In lieu of this, the Swiss government decided to set an annual quota of 3,500 British citizens to work in England on 13 February.

Source: https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-74102.html

Legal disclaimer. This article does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The article should be used for informational purposes only.
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