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United Kingdom and Switzerland to sign post-Brexit trade agreement

12 February, 2019, 00:03 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer

However, the deal does not include financial services - the UK's most valuable asset - as there is no comprehensive agreement between Switzerland and the European Union on financial services.

May's original withdrawal agreement with the European Union was defeated by 230 votes last month - a historically emphatic loss for a government in the House of Commons.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the deal would "continue the preferential trade that we have".

"One of May's Conservative predecessors, John Major, last week described Brexit as the "worst foreign policy decision since the Second World War" and dismissed suggestions the fractious divorce from Brussels could herald a return of the country's wartime 'Blitz spirit", which would help Britain overcome the wrenching dislocation of crashing out.

Britain's economic slowdown should not be blamed entirely on Brexit, British Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Monday after data showed the economy a year ago grew at its slowest since 2012.

The UK and Switzerland have signed a deal to continue trading after Brexit as they did before it.

And there were signs of unease in Tory ranks at the idea of Mrs May exploring means of bringing the Labour leader on board in her search for a Brexit deal.

Johnson told a meeting in parliament, "I think it must be pretty obvious that if you are going to have a time limit to the backstop - and I think that would be very good - it has got to fall before the next election".

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At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, Fox said the United Kingdom had agreed "in principle" a free trade agreement with Israel, while South Africa separately said it was close to signing a deal with the UK.

Those countries aren't European Union members, but belong to the much-smaller EEA EFTA group.

Switzerland meanwhile is Britain's fifth biggest export partner outside the EU.

Among the countries the Department has signed a trade deal with include Switzerland, which guarantees future trading terms between the two countries following Brexit. It covers issues like free trade, public procurement, agriculture and the fight against fraud.

Justice Minister Rory Stewart told the BBC on Monday that differences between the two aren't as great as some suggest, but the government can't accept a customs union that would prevent Britain from negotiating trade deals with other countries.

Their amendment would set a final mid-March deadline for May to win a majority for her deal, by obliging the government to make time for the bill if she has not secured parliament's support before then.

"We have got what we call the Political Commission that simply does not take its orders from democratically elected governments".

The impasse risks a chaotic departure that would hurt the economy.



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