Could Swiss example lead to single market Brexit deal?

September 21, 2016 11:35 am

EU officials have hailed “positive talks” with Switzerland on future access to the Single Market, which could result in the Swiss adopting a ‘locals first for jobs policy.’

Following protracted talks (themselves hindered by the Brexit referendum), EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has approved a proposal that would allow Switzerland to offer new jobs to its residents first. The Swiss had previously been forced to backtrack on demands for a cap on migration once a threshold or level of influx had been reached.

Switzerland is required, under the terms of its own referendum, to reach a deal with the EU over Single Market access and a cut in migration by February 2017. Under previous Swiss-Brussels deal, European migrant workers are required to obtain a work permit, with EU nationals having to obtain the permit within 14 days of their arrival. The new proposals would give first preference on jobs to Swiss nationals and EU nationals with residence permits.

Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested the Swiss model could also influence negotiations with the UK over its withdrawal from the EU.

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