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[Switzerland] Will the EU and Switzerland finally agree on a framework deal?

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 348 ✭✭ breatheme


    As many of you know, Switzerland likes to maintain its relationship with the EU with not one but many (more than a hundred) bilateral agreements.

    If you need some background information:
    But basically, negotiations seem to be at a stalemate over three key issues:
    • Wage protection: unions and businesses want to protect the high salaries and cost of living in Switzerland. They say the framework agreement would lead to “wage dumping”, companies in Switzerland cutting back on salaries.
    • State aid: the EU is not in favour of public subsidies. Swiss cantons fear that their banks would no longer be able to benefit from unrestricted state guarantees.
    • European citizenship directive: under the framework, EU citizens in Switzerland would have the same right to social security as Swiss residents. Critics in Switzerland fear that this could result in a wave of “social welfare immigration”.

    It looks like negotiations are at a stalemate and Brexit has added fuel to the Swiss parties looking for concessions.

    I think this will end up being taken to the extreme but that the Swiss will eventually sign the agreement and deal with the controversy back home. But since we are living in this post Brexit world... could it end with negotiations breaking down and the guillotine clause finally being invoked?

    What would happen then? Do we continue with the agreements we have now between the EU and CH, or do we actually go all the way to treating Switzerland like a third country?


Comments

  • #2


    breatheme wrote: »
    As many of you know, Switzerland likes to maintain its relationship with the EU with not one but many (more than a hundred) bilateral agreements.

    If you need some background information:
    But basically, negotiations seem to be at a stalemate over three key issues:


    It looks like negotiations are at a stalemate and Brexit has added fuel to the Swiss parties looking for concessions.

    I think this will end up being taken to the extreme but that the Swiss will eventually sign the agreement and deal with the controversy back home. But since we are living in this post Brexit world... could it end with negotiations breaking down and the guillotine clause finally being invoked?

    What would happen then? Do we continue with the agreements we have now between the EU and CH, or do we actually go all the way to treating Switzerland like a third country?

    Negotiations have broken down.will be interesting, how it will go on.


  • #2


    If anything, Brexit weakens the Swiss position by strengthening the resolve of the 27.

    Just like Britain, any domestic problem the Swiss Govt has in selling a new deal at home, is entirely their problem. The integrity of the single market will not be compromised for any third Country. Ditto Canada, Ditto Norway.


  • #2


    We've been here before, when the Swiss (people) rejected the EU's requirements re Freedom of Movement. The EU's response was swift and quite brutal for those concerned - cutting off funding and ending Swiss research contracts subsidised by the EU. There's an awful lot of research done in Switzerland (largely medical) and I met several young EU adults at the time who'd been given their P45-equivalents. As of yesterday (or the day before?) Swiss-made medical devices are no longer approved for use in the EU, without now going through the EU's own approval process. Next up for renewal/expiry are GDPR agreements (I suspect this'll put an end to the Swiss being able to fine French drivers for speeding), the re-instated research funding and access to the EU's rail network.

    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, because the "Freedom of Movement" problem was resolved by the Swiss Parliament overturning the Will of the People; but in this case, Parliament has decided not to ask the People, but the effects are likely to be more visible, and touch ordinary lives than the Freedom of Movement issues.

    I can see Switzerland from where I'm sitting this week, and was hoping to use it as a selling point in a recruitment drive. Might have to review that now!


  • #2


    Yep. From what I've seen the only people involved in medical technology, scientific research and the like are sounding the alarms. But since everything will remain exactly as is for a while, it's not the same as Brexit. Switzerland still enjoys a great deal of access to the Single Market. It will be a slow erosion until it is ultimately harmful to these industries before the Swiss would care enough to renegotiate. Maybe a decade? Maybe more?


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