Switzerland has announced they will be introducing a quota system which will allow British citizens to come and work in the country in the event that Britain does leave the European Union without an exit deal made in place. Under this new system Switzerland will allow 3,500 British citizens to come for the first time to work, the Bern government said on Wednesday. The cap for residence permits will be set at 2,100, with an additional 1,400 short-stay permits allowed.

The quota will start applying from March the 30th until December the 31st and is intended to replace the current Agreement of Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and Britain which will run out on the March 30th.


(Mr Fox and Mr Parmelin signed the deal on Monday Image: GETTY)

The deal was announced in December but was finalised this month and has been heralded as the most significant trade deal Britain has signed up to so far in the run up to its departure from the European Union.

International trade secretary Liam Fox met with the Swiss economy minister Guy Parmelin in Bern to seal the “continuity agreement”.Mr Fox called Switzerland “one of the most valuable trading partners” that the UK hopes to continue doing business with in the post-Brexit future.

He said: “This is of huge economic importance to UK businesses.

“Not only will this help to support jobs throughout the UK but it will also be a solid foundation for us to build an even stronger trading relationship with Switzerland as we leave the EU.”

The deal will aim to remove all risks of additional tariffs in trade between the UK and Switzerland. Switzerland is not a member of the EU but it is part of the single market.

It is one of only four such agreements the UK has signed as Brexit day approaches, after Chile, The Faroe Islands, and Eastern and Southern Africa agreed on the others.

The Government hopes to replicate the 40 EU free trade agreements, which cover more than 70 countries.