The UK has been working on 40 transition trade agreements for some time and they are at various stages of completion. The first such trade agreement the UK government has completed is with the Swiss Federal Council. In the last 5 years British exports to Switzerland has grown by 41.1%. Our largest exports to Switzerland consist of Jewellery, precious stones, metals and pharmaceutical products.
What the trade agreement does
This trade agreement replicates the existing EU-Switzerland arrangement in the main and seeks to provide continuity for UK and Swiss businesses for when we leave the EU. Once signed this agreement will need parliamentary approval and will then come into effect once we leave the European Union. Whether that be on the 29th March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU with no deal or in January 2021. Switzerland is a major trading partner with the UK with exports worth £19.04 Billion last year. This figure is a huge trade surplus and this trade agreement will maintain the status quo.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox Said of the deal :
This is one of the most significant existing trade agreements. with British companies exporting £19 Billion worth of goods and services last year. and it will provide the certainty that business need to continue trading freely.
This is the first of around 40 trade agreements that will provide continuity for and many other agreements are also close to being agreed. It is a vital part of our no deal planning and it means that businesses and consumers can continue to benefit from our close trading relationships with the world beyond the European Union.
The UK government continue to press ahead with plans for a no deal. They are fully aware that these trade agreements will come into force whether we have a no-deal with the European Union or a deal can be brokered. The UK government say there are around 40 existing EU trade agreements that they are seeking to provide continuity on. They also advise that other trade agreements are at an advanced stage of negotiation.