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    28 Dec, 2022|

    What is a Swiss-Style Brexit? Introduction for Small Business

    Brexit has been back in the news recently (although we’re not sure it’s ever really stopped) with rumblings around the possibility of a Swiss-style Brexit deal.

    News reports suggest there had been some discussion within Government around closer ties with the EU. The two key areas mentioned in news coverage are of reducing friction for trade, and movement of people. And this may be why discussion has centred around pursuit of a similar relationship to that which Switzerland holds with the EU.

    What is a Swiss-Style Brexit?

    The term Swiss-style Brexit is used to describe the relationship that Switzerland has with the EU. Whilst not a member of the EU, Switzerland does have a closer relationship and agreements with the EU. Including areas such as:

    • access to some parts of the single market
    • being a part of the Schengen area allowing free movement of people
    • participating in EU research & education programmes
    • regulatory alignment in some sectors
    • paying into the EU budget

    What would a Swiss-Style Brexit mean for small businesses?

     Brexit meant many changes for small businesses including

    • Changes to the way goods are imported and exported and new rules
    • The ability to employ EU citizens in the UK (and vice versa)

    Impacts on supply chains, staff shortages, increased paperwork and red tape when sending goods to the EU. All of these have been cited as impacts of Brexit which are affecting small businesses.

    An agreement, such as the Swiss-style Brexit, could have the potential to ease some of these challenges being faced by businesses. 

    Is a Swiss-Style Brexit likely for the UK?

    No, it seems unlikely at this point. Many articles cite Rishi Sunak and others in government as not wanting to pursue significant change to the relationship that the UK now has with the EU following Brexit.

    This BBC article for example highlights comments made about not wanting a relationship that requires alignment with EU laws.

    We may not see a Swiss-style Brexit agreement (which this article from inews suggests the EU are unlikely to be open to anyway) but it is likely that we will continue to see debate around Brexit continue over the coming months and years.

    At Anthony Jones, we appreciate that businesses of all sizes are currently facing a wide range of challenges to their ability to operate. And we understand that these are incredibly testing and difficult times for our insurance buyers. We remain, as ever, committed to supporting all our current and prospective customers with the best insurance advice. If you are reviewing your business insurance, then do get in touch with our teams of experts who will be happy to help on 020 8290 9080 or email us at business@anthonyjones.com