Below is the text of the statement made by Robin Walker, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, in the House of Commons on 24 April 2019.
The UK and Switzerland have reached an agreement on temporary transitional migration arrangements for workers in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. These would apply until December 2020.
This agreement is further to the Swiss Government’s announcement in February 2019 that in a no-deal scenario they would create a specific quota of 3,500 work permits for 2019 for UK workers. As part of the transitional migration agreement, Switzerland has also agreed that UK nationals would not need to meet rules regarding skill level, national preference and economic interest which normally apply to third country nationals during the period covered by the agreement. The agreement also includes protections for frontier workers not covered by the UK-Swiss citizens’ rights agreement which would allow them to continue cross-border work until 31 December 2020.
The UK has agreed to provide arrangements for Swiss nationals who wish to work in the UK which are at least as favourable as those offered to UK nationals in Switzerland. In the event of no deal, and following the ending of free movement, Swiss and EEA nationals arriving in the UK for the first time would be eligible for European temporary leave to remain. This would allow them to work in the UK for three years.
This agreement will be subject to ratification processes in both states, and will be signed and published in due course. The UK and Switzerland will continue to work closely together on implementing the agreement and will discuss the arrangements which will apply from the end of 2020 in due course.
Further information about the agreement can be found on gov.uk.