Published On: Mon, Sep 2nd, 2019

Switzerland frustration with EU erupts: We want deal with UK – had enough of ‘dogmatic’ EU | UK | News

Bern is hoping to ramp up research with London as its relationship with Brussels starts to disintegrate after their failed talks to strike up a permanent economic deal. Swiss leaders don’t believe “dogmatic” eurocrats are willing budge on their final three demands, making a deal being reached this year highly unlikely. The deadlocked talks have left relationships with Brussels, who blocked EU-based investors from trading on Swiss exchanges, strained over the summer.

Failure to strike a permanent treaty could also see Swiss researchers blocked from the single market.

Economy minister Guy Parmelin said this could lead the country’s top scientists to turn to new markets, including Britain after Brexit.

He said: “I think the EU would weaken itself, it no longer cooperated with Switzerland on research.

“We are then forced to seek alternatives, perhaps along with Britain, if the EU remains dogmatic.”

Mr Parmelin proceeded to pour cold water over suggestions that Switzerland is going to recommend that Britain joins the European Free Trade Association, which also includes Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, after Brexit.

“I have not heard that this is needed by Britain,” he said.

“If Britons want that, we will review it, but I believe it would be risky.

“Given its size, Britain would dominate the rest of EFTA.”

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Mr Parmelin has warned his country are yet to build a a majority amongst representatives of Swiss labour, employers and the 26 cantons that make up the country for a deal with Brussels.

He said: “We want a good solution that can win majority support and that is not the case at the moment.

‘I don’t think we can wrap up this year. Our agenda and that of the EU allow a conclusion only next year at the earliest.”

Ursula von der Leyen taking over as European Commission president, the Swiss elections in October and a referendum, which is due next year, on abolishing free movement of EU citizens across Switzerland are all potential stumbling blocks.

The EU-Swiss relationship is currently governed by 120 bilateral economic accords, which are set to erode over time if they are not updated.

Talks over a permanent treaty over the last four-and-a-half years remain deadlocked over Swiss fears that the country has ceded too much of its sovereignty to Brussels.

Both the pro-EU centre-left and anti-EU right-wing of the country fear that the deal impinges of Swiss sovereignty.

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