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. 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 free trade agreement (FTA) to boost trade between Switzerland and the UK as two services superpowers. The current trade agreement provides for duty-free bilateral trade in industrial goods and for a partial liberalization of trade in processed agricultural products. It is time for a modernisation of the bilateral FTA that allows us to expand the agreement to new areas of trade, particularly in services.
Switzerland is the UK’s10th largest trade partner, with trade worth almost £53 billion. Amodernisation of the bilateral FTA would allow us to agree on state-of-the-artdisciplines that are nowadays included in modern FTAs and that both ourcountries have concluded with other partners in recent years. These includemodern provisions covering new areas such as services, investment, intellectualproperty, digital trade and sustainability.