This information is from our Brexit archives, documenting what different countries thought of the negotiations, their relationship with the UK and priorities in the negotiations.
This page was last updated in 2020.
|President of the Confederation||Simonetta Sommaruga (Social Democratic Party, since January 2020)|
|Size||41,285 km² (15,920 sq. miles)|
|Next legislative election||2023|
|Last meeting with Boris Johnson||None held to date|
|Relationship with the UK||The UK and Switzerland share an interest in what a post-Brexit deal might look like, as both want to cooperate closely with the EU on, for example trade and security, but also seek to curb free movement and budget commitments.
Switzerland is a member of European Free Trade Association, but does not take part in the European Economic Area. It will have an interest in either the UK joining the EFTA or to forge a bilateral trade agreement with the UK.
Switzerland’s agreement with the EU was previously seen as an example for the UK in forging its future relationship with the bloc.
|What former President of the Confederation Maurer said on Brexit||The UK could “develop very positively” outside the EU
“The UK has lots of advantages and if they are used cleverly to decouple from the EU, as well as the new freedom in a good bilateral relationship, then the UK could develop very positively — I’m convinced of that,”
|Switzerland’s priorities||Switzerland works together closely with the EU through the EFTA, but has lately been occupied with the issue of free movement of people as a member of the EU’s passport free travel area. Discussions between the EU and Switzerland emerged after a referendum in 2014 that introduced immigration quotas into the Swiss constitution. As a consensus, the Swiss Parliament adopted a bill that gives priority to Swiss-based job seekers, but leaves out quotas on EU citizens.
Another thing Switzerland is focused on is corporate tax, as pressure from the EU and OECD has increased to address its preferential tax system. A referendum on Corporate Tax Reform III was held on 12 February 2017, where it was rejected by the public.
Politicians are also looking to organise a referendum on a burqa ban after the upper house of parliament voted the proposal down.