UK Swiss trade agreement

The U.K. and Switzerland have signed a document to complete a financial services Agreement to make trade easier on our exit from EU controls. The U.K. is the largest net exporter of financial services and Switzerland the third in the world.

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171 Comments

  1. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Walk away from Brussels now. They can’t be trusted.

    • steve
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      I agree. Now is the time, we don’t need the EU or France. Just give ’em the archer’s salute & walk away.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        ☺️ ☺️

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      As the Scots know from the “Pledge” – which was torn up even before the last votes were even counted in their referendum – it is the UK Tories who cannot be trusted.

      The European Union have kept to the very last letter, of their negotiators’ words on the other hand.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Like “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed?”
        Nobody can therefore complain about pledges being broken when none nothing has yet been agreed.

        Come back and complain after everything has been agreed.

        • ChrisS
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          +1

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          That assertion was made AFTER the European Union had reasonably been led to believe that a number of items had indeed been settled, and was simply another example of perfidy.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            You don’t understand what a Treaty is compared to an Agreement.

          • dixie
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Why do you lie about things that are so easy to check?

            From the EU’s consilium website, 20-April-2017, “European Council (Art.50) guidelines for Brexit negotiations.

            That is 1 month after the UK notified it’s intention to withdraw from the EU and nothing at all had been settled;

            1. Core Principles. Paragraph 2.

            “Negotiations under Article 50 TEU will be conducted in transparency and as a single package. In accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual items cannot be settled separately. The Union will approach the negotiations with unified positions, and will engage with the United Kingdom exclusively through the channels set out in these guidelines and in the negotiating directives. So as not to undercut the position of the Union, there will be no separate negotiations between individual Member States and the United Kingdom on matters pertaining to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union.”

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            I do, Ed.

            And you clearly do not grasp what being an honourable person is.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            Well why have a long period of negotiations if the Withdrawal Agreement is unalterable?

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Given Dixie’s exemplary information showing your claim was wrong, and your lack of acceptance, you are in no position to lecture others on what being an honourable person is.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Dixie, could you be equally diligent re the claims made by the English nationalists, I wonder?

            Well, the Government should not have announced the “agreement” that had been reached in various areas, whilst referring to problems in others then, should it?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

            Yes it should because the voters need to understand what is happening in these negotiations.

      • Andy
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Indeed. The irony of Dominic Raab criticising China for going back on the international treaty agreed over Hong Kong, when the Tories have been publicly saying they will go back on the withdrawal agreement – an international treaty. Mad.

        Reply The Political Declaration was a statement of intent, not a binding Treaty. The EU has broken the Treaty by its negotiating style and posture.

        • hefner
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          ‘Negotiating style and posture’: indeed and do not forget, Michel Barnier raised his eyebrows. Absolutely unacceptable!

        • Hope
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Is a statement of intent if it is the framework for negotiations? Or are you saying negotiations are over?

          • margaret howard
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            hefner

            Can you wonder the world doesn’t trust us these days? After this Brexit debacle and the way we have tried to wriggle out of our commitments, who will have any confidence in us in the future?

            Perfidious Albion indeed!

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H, The whole world?? Are you sure?

        • Andy
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          The withdrawal agreement is an international treaty. It is the bit that includes payments to the EU for the next 44 years and a border down the middle of our own country.

          Brexiteer Owen Paterson is among the MPs who voted for the withdrawal agreement who now wants it changed.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            It isn’t a Treaty.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            So you want to pay the EU for the rest of your life Andy. We don’t want to stop you. Both they and HMRC always accept any cheques you care to send.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            could you advise on which towns and cities this border down the middle of the country passes through, old chap. That is if you can spare the time teaching your children – but then this could be interesting geography for them.

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        What about the EU going back on Mr. Tusk’s Free Trade “Canada +++” offer made in Autumn 2018?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Like when they said they wouldn’t re-open the withdrawal agreement which they then re-opened ? If you just stick to your opening position it isn’t a negotiation.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Wise words that ring true

  2. Nigl
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Excellent news and I see the EU is using ‘equivalence’ as a bargaining tool, 1000 questions allegedly.

    Does the EU really think refusing their countries and vice versus access to the biggest financial centre in the world would work at any level or benefit them?

    Your thoughts on what this deal means in relation to EU threats would be appreciated.

    • steve
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      “…. deal means in relation to EU threats”

      It means the threats will likely intensify. 🙂

    • Andy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Brexit doesn’t benefit the EU at all. They have said this repeatedly and they are right.

      It also doesn’t benefit us either. You have been told this but are too obtuse to listen.

      The Brexit talks are simply a discussion about how much we all lose.

      And, yes, you lose too. Even though you have not accepted it yet.

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        But Brexit does benefit us, Andy. We are gaining our independence. You have been told this but are too obtuse to listen.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          No, the UK is recklessly rendering itself highly vulnerable to unfriendly world powers.

          That is nothing like “independence”.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Like 160 other independent nations.

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            Martin, It’s really time you accepted that either your EU is only a trading agreement, or it is an empire. It cannot be both.

            Given your claim that the UK is “vulnerable to unfriendly world powers” outside the EU, it seems you regard the EU as a protective empire. At least this time. But consistency was never one of your strong points.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think the unfriendly world powers will trouble you too much in Wales. Don’t have sleepless nights over it.

        • bill brown
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          NIckC

          your simplifications and deep analysis of teh benefits of Brexit are impressive and very deep , thank you very much

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            Oh you are back bill.
            With your badly typed sarcasm.

          • NickC
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            Thank you, Bill, I do try to help the disadvantaged Remains to a better understanding. After all, most countries in the world value their independence.

      • steve
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Andy

        Yes we know brexit doesn’t benefit the EU, actually most of us are hoping brexit destroys the EU and then we can get back to trading with individual nation states.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Maybe some, even most of the seventeen million – just twenty-six percent of the UK people – who voted Leave hope that, but the rest of the country – most of it – are probably not quite so viciously cynical.

          So less of the “us”, thanks.

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

            Just as the Poles broke away from the suffocating grip of the Soviet Union after 45 years eventually led to the total collapse of their empire so the panjandrums in Brussels who witnessed this are terrified of a similar fate awaiting them if the UK successfully breaks away from their suffocating grip.
            So yes “viciously cynical” is their response to the UK’s break away.

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

            Martin, You mean most UK people are not so “viciously cynical” as you are about the UK? I’d agree with that.

            And only 23% voted Remain. So the rest of the country (77%) was quite happy with Leave.

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        The enormous benefit to us of leaving the EU is the ability to be able to influence our laws and policies (trade, fiscal, taxation, energy, environmental, foreign, military, immigration etc.) through retaining the right to elect and remove those who make these decisions.

        Remaining in the EU, where decisions are made by those we did not elect and cannot remove and hence cannot influence, is truly a journey into the unknown.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        But Andy you have said that as a result of a clean Brexit we will NOT be paying the EU for the next 44 years, for nothing. So that’s a win for us and a loss for them, or are you too obdurate to accept even your own arguments? 😂😂

  3. Garland
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    A deal much less comprehensive than the one we had with the Swiss when we were a member of the EU. Bravo!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Not true, Mr Remoaner. The EU has got into a massive row with the Swiss and delisted Swiss shares. We will be altogether more friendly to the Swiss, I am sure. The EU is going to look a bit silly not listing Swiss equities when all other major markets do so.

      • hefner
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Since 1 July 2019 shares from Swiss companies are indeed not anymore directly available on continental European investment platforms, but Swiss bonds, structured products, funds and ETFs can still be accessed. Moreover a number of Swiss companies are double or even tripled-quoted, and a continental European investor (or their financial advisor) could still get access to (at least some of) them via transactions made via the exchanges in Paris, Stockholm, Frankfurt or Dublin. And any continental investor worth their salt could (with a bit of research) find a fund available to them including a number of Swiss companies within its remit.
        So Mr Leaver, the situation is not as bad as what you try to depict. I very much doubt that such a EU decision had spoiled the prospects of continental investors.

        • hefner
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, no European triple-quoted companies.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          Oh so EU investors Remain desperate to invest in Switzerland and the U.K. (see Levers consolidating it’s Headquarted in the U.K. and closing Holland).
          So much for the Commission, it’s own members and citizens ignore it, so you say.

          • hefner
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            I did not say that ‘EU investors remain desperate to invest in Switzerland and the UK’, you did. I just said that for individual investors on the continent it is still possible with a minimum of work to go on investing in funds/ETFs including Swiss companies (or UK companies for that matter), the same way as a UK investor can invest in US or other countries shares. It is just a question of finding the proper investment tool.
            So to me, this whole story is a storm in a teacup, with people like you getting excited for very little.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        It might seem like a “massive row” to the Swiss, but to the European Union’s people it’s just a marginally bothersome, low-ranking news item, rather like brexit is now.

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      But, Garland, we don’t have to governed by the EU to get it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        The UK was never governed by the European Union.

        How would it have left, as it has done, if it were?

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          The European Union made a foolish mistake and allowed gormless Cameron to give the UK citizens a Vote, such was Brussels witless arrogance!

        • Edward2
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          Because an EU bureaucrat mistakenly added article 50 to a treaty.

        • NickC
          Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

          Martin, Declaration 17 (Lisbon) confirms that EU laws have primacy over ours. So the EU governs the UK. We are leaving via Article 50. Which is an EU law. Do keep up.

  4. steve
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    JR

    Good morning Sir !

    Excellent news, absolutely excellent. No one can say this gov’t isn’t doing anything right.

    Well done to those who have worked on this agreement.

  5. Michael
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Since most financial business with Switzerland is done by the City of London and that is not part of the UK or the EU this agreement is window dressing at best.

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Michael, The City of London is not part of the UK?? Are you sure about that?

    • steve
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Michael

      Even if it is window dressing, it’s a damed good idea and something much needed at times like these where the world is in such a depressing mess.

      To Boris and his men, on this occasion I would say: ‘nice one, well done’

  6. Adam
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The Swiss are fine people with high quality standards and a sensible outlook on life. A closer relationship with friends and neighbours such as these peaceful folk improves us too.

  7. margaret howard
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Clutching at straws?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Margaret, what’s it like being a permanent pessimist?

      • steve
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        FUS

        I imagine it means not having any friends and not getting out much.

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Margaret, I thought the Remain position was that we’d be unable to get any trade deals?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Margaret – You’ve been asking for years where the agreements with other countries were (because you couldn’t understand we weren’t allowed to sign any while we were still in the EU), yet now when we get one you moan about it. It is clear you were hoping UK would never sign any trade agreements with anyone ! What a terrible attitude.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Poor Margaret, more bad news. You will not be able to stop the U.K thriving. Accept it.

  8. agricola
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Reel in the USA and we have an undeniable trio within the civilised ethical World. Time for the EU to face up to reality.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Since when did the sprat reel in the angler?

      • Edward2
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        We are one the world’s biggest economies.
        America wants a deal with us to benefit them and us.
        Have you ever actually been involved in any business negotiations?
        It certainly doesn’t sound like it.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

          The US will do what the pro-Irish lobby over there allows it to do.

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            Not after 9/11

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Whilst our Irish lobby will have an effect on our side too.

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            In Varadkar’s dreams. And yours, no doubt.

        • bill brown
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          the question is on what terms and how long s it going to take?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            Terms…who knows
            Timeline…I guess under a year.

          • NickC
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            Denmark next, Bill?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        but many big fish pull the rod out of the hands…

  9. Richard1
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Excellent news. Switzerland is Europe’s most prosperous economy, which it manages to be without being in the EU.

    The coming months should see some other comprehensive FTAs come about – which will demonstrate that you can have comprehensive free trade in goods and services, excellent friendly relations and free movement for business travel and tourism, without any of the political subordination, payments of money, handing over of natural resources or unlimited immigration which the EU appears to demand.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Rather like the destination for the EEC we thought we were joining in the 1970s!

    • Andy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The coming months will price exactly the opposite. That outside the EU any trade agreements will be worse and will not include much, if anything, of the way of services.

      Switzerland, of course, while not being in the EU, single market or customs union – does have vast numbers of bilateral agreements with the EU. It is a very bureaucratic and unwieldy system and the EU has no desire to repeat it. Switzerland also follows many single market rules, while having no say, and contributes into the EU budget. It is also in Schengen which allows its people free movement.

      Daniel Hannan has crossed the Swiss border and points out that it is virtually seamless. Which is it, if you’re a person. Which it isn’t if you’re driving a truck and have goods – which he didn’t.

      Indeed, we currently have frictionless borders with the EU for goods, but not for people. Switzerland is the other way around. And you mostly all voted for Brexit to take back control of borders for people. I am sure none of you were bothered about goods. You soon will be though – when you can’t get them anymore.

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Andy, No normal trade agreement could be worse than the EU. That’s because the EU stole our independence, our fish, and our money, in exchange for not even frictionless trade in goods.

        EU ideology is a Faustian bargain, exercised by power obsessed conmen. And we’ve seen through it, at last. We’re on our way to freedom.

        • bill brown
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          You are getting carried away again about your empire mania, using words like independence and obsessed conmen without any facts as usual

          • NickC
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

            Bill, EU law has primacy. So when we leave the EU empire the UK will once again be independent. It’s not that difficult to understand.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        There are many FTAs which include services.

        There are many countries which succeed in importing and exporting goods without being in a political union with a group of other countries. Examples include the US, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, China…..

      • Richard1
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Switzerland has about 5x the exports per capita to the EU over the UK despite being outside the single market and customs union. Businesses often just pay the minimal tariffs so as not to bother with form filling. It’s no big deal.

        • Andy
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          What minimal tariffs? I thought the EU had massive tariffs. That is what you lot have been saying for years.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            When has Richard or “us lot” on here said the words “massive tariffs”?

      • steve
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Andy

        “I am sure none of you were bothered about goods. You soon will be though – when you can’t get them anymore.”

        You just don’t seem to get it, do you.

        We’re not interested in European goods, we don’t want European cars, European foods and so on.

        I suggest you get used to eating British food and buying British or American products.

        We brexit voters knew there would be initial hardships until British industry and farming get back on their feet, but we’re up for the challenge and we will shine through – because we’re British.

        You will be uncomfortable with the times ahead, but that’s because you’re not made of the same stuff as us. The difference is comparable to hardened steel vs soft cheese.

        But at least we can find amusement in the fact that ‘our’ brexit will have got you whinging like hell when you cant get what you want from the shops and you don’t have a bloody clue how to improvise & survive.

        Times are changing Andy, you need to stop blaming the majority and roll your sleeves up & crack on with it. I suggest you learn some life skills like how to mend things, grow your own food etc. Go to your nearest allotments and talk to some old folk, they will be able to teach you how to get through hard times.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          Post of the day.

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Andy,

        What’s so great please about our having a frictionless border for goods with the EU when it means we have a trading deficit of £100bn/YEAR for which we pay £20bn/YEAR gross (£15bn/year loss of control and £10bn/year net) and the loss of our fishing grounds?

        BTW, when you say “I am sure none of you were bothered about goods. You soon will be though – when you can’t get them anymore.”

        Are you saying the EU intend to apply trade sanctions?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Listen up everyone – Andy predicts that on 1st January next year we won’t be able to get any goods from the EU ! A bold prediction. Let’s see. We have no FTA with China but we seem to get goods from there – how does that work Andy ?

        None of our young people seem to care less about the EU – all their culture and politics come from USA – for that reason that’s who we need an FTA with.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Why is Switzerland more prosperous? Government expenditure is more like 30% of GDP than the UK 45%, a solid currency, real deterrents to crime. Despite these lower levels of tax public services in Switzerland are far, far superior.

      For example UK deaths per tested positive case 1 in 7 in Switzerland 1 in 15.

      It is however a bit odd that they do not cross roads until the green man lights up even when no traffic for miles.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        They also encourage wealthy people to locate there (rather than actively deterring them as Brown, Osborne and Hammond did). Plus they have lots of referenda and some real democracy. Also I understand rather fewer graduates (in dubious and duff subjects) and rather more of them in science, technology, physics, engineering, medicine and similar.

        Plus some good but rather expensive skiing and far fewer lawyers per 100,000 than in the UK what is not to like? Apart from the green man thing?

        • Richard1
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          Indeed. Switzerland has a superb apprenticeship tradition. The low tax, balanced budget, lower regulation model works well also. They are somewhat under the cosh from the EU at the moment, which doesn’t like an obviously prosperous European country managing without being an EU member.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            +1

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Meanwhile Sir Gus O’Donnell calls for wealth tax as part of UK’s Covid-19 response.

          Firstly we have many wealth taxes already (indeed all taxes tax wealth as they give you less wealth to invest the next year) and secondly this is the last thing the economy needs it would be hugely damaging and deter investment and people leaving with their money. What is needed huge cuts in parasitic bureaucrates and the endless government waste that people like Gus oversee, large tax cuts, tax simplifications, cheap reliable on demand energy, a culling of NHS, real and fair competition in health care, education, the BBC, housing etc. and a bonfire of red tape and other restrictions.

          Did Gus learn nothing about Economics from Warwick and Nuffield College Oxon before he went on the teach others at Glasgow and then at the Treasury an “economist”?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          The British also all abetted the law (the Green man) even if nobody was looking. Now we have to compete with illegal slave-labour manufacturers who ignore all our laws, like lockdown, and find its impossible. So I guess some British people now ignore the green man to compete.
          Looking forward to getting back to our level playingfield where everybody obeys British law.

      • IanT
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Maybe they feel their laws are not conditional on convenience?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      The Swiss model was rejected as “betrayal” by the ERG and by their thralls, because it involved sensible agreements with the European Union.

      Yes, having that same relationship with the European Union would be about the best that the UK could do too.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        We are talking about our relationship with Switzerland.
        Not their relationship with the EU.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        Rightly so. We, fortunately, are not completely surrounded EU countries.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Just nearly surrounded.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            the moat saves us.

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            Luckily we are an island as the Spanish Armada found out.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            Unluckily the UK is an island, as all the lorry drivers found out during Operation Stack.

            And that was just for a few days, at one port, over a mile or so of inshore waters, and owing to a couple of little fishing boats.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            actually the Spanish got confused heading up the Channel to defeat and many ships ended up sailing right round Scotland, past Ireland and lost many ships to storms…on the way home.
            Oh dear! Calais wasn’t a great solution to try and hide away.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Richard1

      “Excellent news. Switzerland is Europe’s most prosperous economy, which it manages to be without being in the EU.”

      What further great news can we expect now? A trade agreement with Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Merino….?

      • Edward2
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Trade carries on successfully all over the world without formal trade agreements.

      • NickC
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, Why not? It’s only on the same lines as the EU’s trade agreement with the Pitcairn Islands.

    • bill brown
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Switzerland pays in to the EU arrangements as does NOrway

      • NickC
        Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Bill, And why should any nation “pay in to the EU” if the EU is just a trade deal?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Yes, and the UK probably will too, Bill.

  10. Nigel
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    As far as I know the EU still bans the trading of Swiss shares on the European markets. Has this affected the price or tradeability of the shares? Not at all.
    There is a lesson there.

  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Good news, let us hope there will be much more such news in the next few months.

    The faster we get deals with those outside of the EU, the more pressure we put on the EU for a sensible and successful outcome, but in the end we must still be prepared to walk away if the so called deal is not right for us.

    • steve
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Alan

      “The faster we get deals with those outside of the EU, the more pressure we put on the EU for a sensible and successful outcome”

      Indeed. Though I would prefer pressure on the EU just to simply to lead to its destruction.

      I also agree we should ‘walk’. Now would be a good time.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        +1

    • anon
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Brexit is a long term problem for the EU long term contributors and soon to be ones. In short order, EU politics will change.

      Within months of us actually exiting EU control, the UK suppliers will if needed re-source supplies domestically or from ROW.

      Any UK business should be ready to source non-EU suppliers.
      Obviously the establishment wont be ready. Maybe capable, likely culpable.

      The idealogically driven EU may prove to be vindictive, where they have been granted the opportunity by our establishment 5th column.

  12. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Our interests and those of the Swiss have much in common. Switzerland is also a vital supplier to the auto, electronics and Medtech OEMs in Germany. Worth putting in the mix.

  13. Will in Hampshire
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    This isn’t a trade agreement, it’s an agreement to negotiate one. The Brexit equivalent is the Political Declaration entered into with the European Union by the Prime Minister.

    What was encouraging though was the Treasury statement that Swiss regulation of financial services is considered to be equivalent to that in the City of London.

  14. DOMINIC
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Switzerland is a member of the EU Single Market. I can sense a scam

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Dominic, Yes the urge of the Tory establishment to pull an EU rabbit out of the hat is clearly nearly overwhelming. There is still the Brexit party waiting in the wings to spike the Tory party if there are more betrayals though.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        It doesn’t have to be a ‘Brexit Party’ a launch of a party with new promises that might actually be carried out would be so refreshing – I think millions are watching and waiting. The Ballot paper might be years away and the report card is not good for the current 2 contenders.

    • steve
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Dominic

      “Switzerland is a member of the EU Single Market. I can sense a scam”

      I don’t think its a back door job. Besides, better this happens via a neutral country rather than the UK.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      It is not

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Correct.

  15. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    So long as Foxy isn’t involved, I’m sure it will work out just dandy for the City.

  16. jerry
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Oh goody, we can carry on telling the time by expensive Swiss watches and eat Swiss cheese!

    How is the FTA with the USA going Sir John, will one be signed by Nov. this year, otherwise has anyone in either Whitehall or Govt reached out to certain Mr J Biden to see what his policy might be with regards a FTA with the UK come Jan 20th 2021…?

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Jerry, Mr Biden doesn’t know what his policy was yesterday, never mind in 6 months time.

      • bill brown
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        And Trump does not have a policy at all except made up at the last minute on twitter

    • steve
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Jerry

      Nothing wrong with Swiss cheese, or their timepieces.

      • jerry
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        @steve; I never said there was, just a rather limited amount of trade.

        • NickC
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Not so limited. Swiss GDP ranks 20th in the world (2nd, per capita), well ahead of countries such as Taiwan, Iran, and Nigeria.

          • jerry
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

            @NickC; No man can live by money alone – nor the other staples of the Swiss economy, chemicals, pharmaceutical and fine instruments…

            I’m not knocking the Swiss, nor this FTA (memo of understanding), just that are other far more important FTA to sign but so far little apparent progress even on similar memos of understanding.

        • hefner
          Posted July 7, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          bb, when Edward2 answers like that, one can be sure he does not have a proper reference. As Pink Floyd would have it ‘A Pillow of Winds’.

    • anon
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      The “May” conservatives, lost the opportunity for a timely deal, before the US election.

      Deals with countries willing to negotiate should be expedited based on the probability of a sensible deal. That automatically precludes the EU, until the politics change.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Relax. President Trump will have a second term. Have you seen the US job stats? He’s delivering.

      • hefner
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Wikipedia: ‘Jobs created during US presidential terms’. Under his presidency due to Covid-19 DJT lost 15% of the US jobs. Recently he has retrieved 5%. Still a 10% deficit.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          hefner

          I suggest you research your information from the officials sites, not out of date Wiki; that is just plain lazy!

          USA EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JUNE 2020
          Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics June report.

          Total payroll employment rose by 4.8 million in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1 percent.

          These improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it.

          Notable June employment gains:

          – Retail trade
          – Leisure & Hospitality
          – Education
          – Health services
          – Manufacturing
          – Financial, Professional and business services.

          Note: This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys.

          • jerry
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            @Dennis Zoff; I think you need to read between the lines of that US BLS report, you seem to have missed the fact that the 4.8% rise has not recovered all the losses caused by the March lock-down. The total in-work figure today is no better than it was in early 2014. Had that 4.8% recovery not occurred then the figures would have been no better than May 2010.

            All Employees, Total Nonfarn

            May 2010………130,650
            March 2014…..137,968
            April 2020……..130,303
            June 2020……..137,802

            The table on the Wikki page you criticise is up to date, also if you follow the source reference you will note that it is a reputable source, (FRED) being one of the regional Reserve Banks that make up the US central bank.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted July 8, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          jerry

          The credibility of said data lost me at “read between the lines”

          Incidentally, hefner seeks a rather negative position on all things Brexit?

          • jerry
            Posted July 8, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            @Dennis Zoff; The (FRED) data you criticise is the same data used by the US BLS.. Sorry you lost me re Brexit, what has that got to do with US unemployment figures? Nothing I suspect!

      • jerry
        Posted July 6, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        @Lynn Atkinson; Stop regurgitating old figures, you’re at least 6 to 12 months out of date, even without DJT’s disastrous Covid-19 response, economic problems were setting in before Christmas.

        “Trump will have a second term.”

        Ask yourself this, all political parties carry out their own opinion polling in election years, so far this year the GOP has not published any of their own data, the Democrat Party and the MSM all have – could the absence of published GOP sourced polling data be due to it confirming what both the Dems and MSM polling data [1] shows as a haemorrhaging of support for DJT, even in traditional GOP heart lands.

        If the GOP has data that shows otherwise why in name not put in in the public domain?!

        [1] dismissed as ‘Fake News’ by DJT and the hard right alt-news

  17. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    This just makes it clear how the world can be made a better place, by making full use of cooperation between states, instead of being told what to think and do by an elite that sit in their ivory towers and read Marx with their Hollywood style expensive breakfasts, with wine of course.

    Switzerland is a fairly sensible country with a large degree of believing in themselves.
    Just 2 such countries working together would see an increase in rationality in the area.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Switzerland is full of multilingual, educated, civic, internationally-minded people.

      See how they’d get on if burdened by our ignorant, niggardly, seventeen million wastes-of-space.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Cheap abuse isn’t to the level of posts on here Martin.
        Very poor.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Always instructive to have a balanced position taken by yourself!

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        Clearly your knowledge of Switzerland is limited.

        It is indeed true they are multilingual, well educated, have a well defined sense of legal and civic duty, internationally-minded, entrepreneurial, highly conservative people….all this by historical necessity?

        Try living there and see the real Switzerland….and you will find it is the 17.4+ million Brexiteers that would thrive there, whereas small minded, timid inward thinking Remoaners would not!

        • jerry
          Posted July 8, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          @Dennis Zoff; Indeed, & how many times have the Swiss Europhiles demanded a referendum on joining the EU, each and ever time the electorate have rejected the proposal. If Switzerland wasn’t landlocked by the founding members of the EEC one has to doubt if they would have ever had anything more than a vanilla flavoured FTA with the EU.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 6, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      “an elite that sit in their ivory towers and read Marx with their Hollywood style expensive breakfasts, with wine of course.”

      Do you think the tattooed fish and chips brigade can do any better?

  18. William Long
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    An encouraging and important step along the road. Let’s hope a deal with the US can be done before their election, just in case the world loses the Donald.

  19. acorn
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I can’t see any benefit to Brexit UK with this “equivalence” deal with the Swiss. The Swiss have no access to the vast majority of EU services, including finance and very limited access to the single market. Mind you they have spent years trying to get a services deal. Swiss banks do not get a “passport” allowing them to offer their services anywhere in the EU.

    That is why there are loads of Swiss banks in the UK trying to get backdoor access to the EU via UK banks. That all stops next January when the UK’s financial services EU passport expires. A comprehensive deal on financial services is not part of the current negotiations.

    Switzerland maintains its access to EU markets as long as it keeps its “equivalence”. If the EU changes its rules, Switzerland loses access until it changes its rules to get back its EU equivalence rating.

    Reply The UK stock market is the largest in Europe and the Swiss is also a large one, bigger from memory than France, Spain or Italy. The dominant markets apart from London are all of course outside the EU in the USA, and Asia.

    • NickC
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Acorn, No need to worry so much. UK banks had prepared contingency plans for all Brexit exigencies by 2018 (so my Banks insider told me). That included for a WTO Brexit.

    • acorn
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Sadly JR, stock markets have become just another form of casino banking that should be governed by a Gambling Commission. For day traders, it is no different to betting on horses; nine out of ten of these punters lose, just like they lose betting on currency pairs. Neither casino table has any socio-economic value whatsoever; but, will leave pension funds massively overvalued relative to there income streams.

      The current stock market bubbles have been caused by QE, which is exactly what QE was meant to do. More accurately QE should be described as a basic large scale central bank “repo” operation; swapping Treasury securities for “reserves” for a capital gain. Reserves that then had to find higher yields in riskier stock markets, which forced up stock market prices.

      BTW. “Reserves” are what the Treasury creates and spends into the non-government sector, brand new every day. They are its “units of account” we call them Pounds Sterling. They are convertible into nothing else. This spending has no direct connection with or is dependent on the availability of funds from Gilt sales or tax income.

      So when the DWP deposits your state pension into your high street bank account, it also deposits the exact same amount into your bank’s current account at the BoE. Hence, your bank’s balance sheet continues to balance. Its liability to you is balanced by the asset the Treasury has placed in your bank’s current account at the BoE. Simples.

    • GilesB
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      If they can no longer access the deepest, most liquid, and most sophisticated financial services markets, the losers will be the EU corporates. Borrowing will be more expensive, equity raising and risk management will not have access to a full range of instruments.

      Except to the extent that those EU corporates set up special purpose vehicles in London, New York or Hong Kong.

      • acorn
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Can I recommend a read of “When Finance Turns Parasitic” at Institutional Investor by Christopher Schelling.

        There is far too much parasitic secondary activity. “All too often, unfortunately, the excess intermediation, and sometimes obfuscation, instead results in the transfer of risk to those least able to understand and price it. The latter case functions like game of hot potato — like the distribution of toxic structured-credit securities that led to the global financial crisis — where one party simply profits at the expense of the other.

        “Researchers at the Bank for International Settlements have even shown that rapid growth in the financial sector comes at the expense of productivity growth in other sectors. Using a sample of 20 developed countries, they demonstrated a negative correlation between finance as a percentage of GDP and per capita GDP growth. In other words, at higher levels, finance increasingly crowds out real economic growth. That’s finance for finance’s sake. That’s parasitic. “

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Reply

      “Reply The UK stock market is the largest in Europe and the Swiss is also a large one,”

      Both with a reputation of being the world’s biggest money launderers.

      Reply Completely false allegation. Both have strong AML policies and enforcement, unlike some other markets around the world.

  20. ChrisS
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    The EU and European businesses cannot manage without the services of the large financial centres such as London, New York and Hong Kong. The UK leaving the EU changes nothing in this respect.

    It would take years for Frankfurt to adapt to the way global business is done in the Anglo-Saxon world. As for Paris, forget it, the French don’t even understand the concept of customer service and everything they do is beset with efforts to regulate everything for their own benefit and to prevent competition.

    London might lose some business to New York but the time difference is extremely inconvenient. In the long run, the EU will quietly allow the UK to continue to provide the services it currently offers although the French, in particular, will make this as difficult as possible.

  21. MultiID
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    The one thing the UK has going for itself is that it is a very large market for the EU to sell into also for that matter cooperation with the Swiss on financial front is greatly desirable but that is all- the Swiss have a good thing going with the EU and are not going to jepordize it by doing an volte face to suit UK interests- interests that will put them at odds with the EU. What we’re about now is stupid stupid and is as clear as 350 on the back of the bus- you think the EU side do not see right through all of this smoke and mirrors?

  22. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Once upon a time, when the UK was still part of the ECJ, in which it also held a very senior position of advocate general, the UK took the ECB to court (over a plan about euro clearing houses) an won. I expect that after 31-12-2020, the ECB is likely to push through this plan once again, considering it too risky to outsource euro clearing to a third country.

    While you’ll be doing more of your own farming and fishing you stand to lose some financial services.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      It would have a negative effect if they kept Euro clearing only in the EU.
      There would probably be legal challenges and or retaliatory action taken by other trading nations.
      But it wouldn’t surprise me seeing the direction the EU is moving is towards isolation and protectionism.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Challenge on which basis ?

        You mean the EU doing exactly what the US is doing when it comes to USD clearing and settlement?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          It is possible to launch a legal challenge to the EU if it refused to allow other nations to work in this area.
          But if that failed the EU might see other nations taking retaliatory actions.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        @Edward2: There have been financial crises before, the EU has to weigh risks. Too much outsourcing is not a good idea.
        The negative effect for the UK would be moderate: the LSE group already has a majority stake in LCH (clearing house in Paris). When LCH grows, it would still be good for the LSE group as shareholder.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          It would affect the standing and confidence of the Euro in world markets if they refused to trade openly.
          But it is all rather hypothetical at this point.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Peter, even the Leavers’ pet economist, Patrick Minford, says that leaving the European Union will probably finish UK farming.

        That is because the UK would likely find itself pressured into being flooded with cheap, massively factory-farmed US food, and into lowering its standards to make that possible.

        The US is reported to be likely to want the UK to ban labelling of origin on its foods too – which would be an interesting Freedom Of Expression case for the Courts, I would think. Well, that’s soon sorted – just end membership of ECHR and repeal the Human Rights Act too.

        And the US sycophants say that PC – whatever that is – is the enemy in that regard.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          I think you will find it is China who already want to drop Country of Origin for a barcode instead – 690 to 699 – in their case – I mention just so we can all avoid their goods.

          Nice try to deflect Martin!

        • Edward2
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Always misquoting Professor Minford.
          He never said what you claim.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          MiC

          Isn’t it somewhat late to continue with Project Fear, version whatever?

          Your Remainer Project Fear arguments didn’t hold water in 2016, so why do you believe they do now?

          Remainer arguments simply do not stand up to scrutiny any more then they did prior to the Referendum!

      • bill brown
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        It wold be good if you substantiated those claims with some factual back up, thank you

        • Edward2
          Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          Look it up yourself bill.
          thank you.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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