The current UK-Switzerland bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force on 1 January 2021 after existing agreements were rolled over to avoid a cliff-edge situation following Brexit. It is the foundation both trading partners are building on and provides for duty-free bilateral trade in industrial goods and for a partial liberalization of trade in processed agricultural products. On 15 May 2023 Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin met with his UK counterpart, Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, in Bern to launch negotiations on a new UK-Switzerland FTA to boost trade between Switzerland and the UK as two services superpowers.
Switzerland is one of the UK’s top ten trading partners. A modernisation of the bilateral FTA would allow us to agree on state-of-the-art disciplines that are nowadays included in modern FTAs and that both our countries have concluded with other partners in recent years. These include modern provisions covering new areas such as services, investment, intellectual property, digital trade and sustainability.
The UK’s Department for Business and Trade and Switzerland’s State Secretariat forEconomic Affairs are the lead ministries for the negotiations towards an enhanced FTA between Switzerland and the UK. Please visit the website of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs here for an update on the current negotiations as of 17 October 2023.