Britain considering a Swiss-style relationship with the EU post Brexit
Oct 16, 2017 World 0 2209 By Michelle Clarke
- Britain considering a Swiss-style relationship with the EU post Brexit.
- Senior British official says it is one of the options under consideration.
- Norwegian deal also in consideration.
After experiencing several rounds of frustration at the ongoing Brexit discussions in Brussels, Britain is now considering negotiating for a Swiss-style EU deal post Brexit.
Switzerland enjoys almost maximum access to the European single
market, through a free-trade deal with the EU that relies on regulatory alignment. However, if it breaks a single clause in a trade agreement the whole deal falls apart.
However, supporters of Brexit in the UK would prefer a complete withdrawal from the Union and relationship of over 40 years.
With regards to the Swiss-style model after Brexit, a senior British official said "It’s one of the potential routes being discussed."
The prime minister said last week that this was possible because of the close regulatory alignment Britain already has with the bloc, because of its 40 years of membership.
She said: "There will be areas where we want to achieve the same goals in the same ways because it makes sense for our economies," but the decisions over alignment or divergence with EU regulations "will have consequences for the UK's access to the EU market and the EU’s access to our market."
The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in September: "Naturally, if the United Kingdom wanted to go further than the type of free-trade agreement we have just signed with Canada, there are other models on the table.
"But one thing is sure: It is not — and will not — be possible for a third country to have the same benefits as the Norwegian model but the limited obligations of the Canadian model."