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Ongoing UK-Swiss trade talks already benefitting UK SMEs

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has released an update following the fourth round of negotiations with Switzerland on an enhanced trade agreement. 

The talks, which took place in Bern from the 4th to 8th March, mark the latest stage in the UK government’s aim to agree a modernised trade deal with Switzerland, covering services, investment, digital and environmental provisions. In particular, the Government emphasised the importance of achieving workers’ mobility since this underpins any service market access agreed as part of the pact.  

The UK’s current deal with Switzerland is a continuity trade agreement following the UK’s EU exit and covers trade in goods but not services. Switzerland, however, is the UK’s third largest service trading partner, and trade was worth £27.9 billion to the UK in the year to September 2023. An enhanced agreement that covers services, then, is an important priority for the UK.  

DBT and Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands, reported that current negotiations are ‘constructive and positive’, both countries are focused on text-based discussions with progress already made on helping UK SMEs expand their operations into the Swiss market.  

The next round of talks is expected to take place on UK soil in the summer of 2024 but will be hybrid in format.  

We will continue to bring you the latest updates on these pivotal talks as they progress.  

For the latest trade agreement updates and their implications for your business, sign up to our monthly briefing. 

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