Jeremy Hunt to strike post-Brexit banking deal with Switzerland Business News

Jeremy Hunt is set to strike a post-Brexit banking deal with Switzerland that will ease UK finance firms’ access to the Swiss market and vice versa.

The chancellor is in Bern on Thursday to sign the agreement based on mutual recognition of each other’s financial laws and regulations.

The Treasury is hoping for a major boost to the City of London by creating a framework for cross-border trade in financial services, the Financial Times reported.

Although Britain has lost out on access to the EU’s single market, Mr Hunt will attribute the UK’s ability to strike its own deals with major finance hubs to Brexit.

When Britain left the bloc it risked losing the benefits of its former trading arrangements with Switzerland, which were based on EU rules despite it not being a member state.

The Treasury said the Bern Financial Services Agreement was “only possible due to new freedoms granted to the UK following its exit from the EU”, adding: “The agreement will enhance the UK and Switzerland’s already thriving financial services relationship.”

It added that the two nations’ relationship “is underpinned by a commitment to international standards and a shared belief in the value of open and resilient financial markets”.

Jeremy Hunt will argue Swiss deal only possible because of Brexit

(AFP via Getty Images)

The chancellor is set to ink the deal with Swiss finance minister Karin Keller-Sutter. The new deal permanently restores the UK’s access to Switzerland’s financial sector and is said to open a door to a wider trade deal.

Labour MP Paul Blomfield, co-convenor of the cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission, said the agreement will be “well received across the City” and is “a welcome acknowledgement” from the government that its must provide regulatory certainty.

But the senior backbencher warned that there was much to do in breaking down wider trade barriers for British firms still struggling to cope with Brexit red tape.

Mr Blomfield added: “The EU remains the largest overseas market for most British businesses and protecting them demands similar arrangements of beneficial regulatory alignment, which will break down barriers, reduce costs and unlock the huge potential of the UK economy.”

It come as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) urged Rishi Sunak and Mr Hunt to consider a range of side and supplementary deals with the EU to ease ongoing trade friction.

Almost two-thirds of UK exporters say selling to the EU has become even harder in the past year, according to the BCC’s latest Brexit report.

The leading business group called for a series of agreements with Brussels – on carbon taxes, VAT arrangements and food checks – to soften the impact of Boris Johnson’s trade deal.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-21 08:23:18

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