Switzerland and the United Kingdom sign a mutual cooperation agreement

Keystone / Rob Penny

President Ignacio Cassis and Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed an agreement to enhance mutual cooperation in trade, finance, research and migration.

This content was published on Apr 29, 2022 – 15:15

Keystone-SDA / ac

Cassis’ visit to the United Kingdom on Thursday underlined the readiness of Switzerland and the United Kingdom to exit from the shadow of the European Union that had dictated the relationship between the two countries before Brexit.

On Thursday morning, the two leaders signed a joint statement that will serve as a new roadmap for bilateral relations. An important aspect of advertising is the commitment to improve trade. The two countries agreed to start a dialogue on a “modern and improved trade agreement” this year. Switzerland is the UK’s tenth largest trading partner worldwide. On the contrary, the UK is Switzerland’s eighth trading partner (excluding precious metals).

Another goal is to reach a common agreement on financial services by the end of the year. “We are both home to major financial centers, so it is imperative that we find an agreement to exchange financial services without hindrances,” Cassis said during his visit.

The two countries also agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to “deepen the relationship between the UK and Switzerland in research, innovation and technology”, with the aim of creating closer links between researchers and companies.

Immigration rules and cooperation will also be discussed this year, with progress expected in priority areas such as immigrant entry and mobility of people and workforce.

Until the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in 2021, relations between Switzerland and London were mainly based on bilateral agreements signed with the European Union. behind the Britain’s exit from the European UnionSwitzerland has negotiated seven agreements with the British government, including air transport, commercial and police cooperation.

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Ukraine and the royal reception

Johnson and Cassis also discussed how the UK and Switzerland could maintain financial pressure on Russia. Switzerland will host the 5th Ukrainian Reform Conference in Lugano in July. The meeting was jointly organized with Kyiv and will focus on the reconstruction of Ukraine. Cassis told Swiss public television RSI that the UK had agreed to attend the conference. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will attend or send a high-level delegation.

In addition to Boris Johnson, Cassis also met Secretary of State Elizabeth Truss. Queen Elizabeth II received the Swiss president at Windsor Castle.

“I found her healthy, elegant and emotional,” he told a news conference. “She asked me a lot of questions about Switzerland and I congratulated her on her birthday.”

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