03:34 GMT30 September 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Britain's Prime Minister has ramped up her "Hard Brexit" stance, formally announcing that the UK will leave the European Union's single market, with words that made the pound sterling rally and Remainers seethe. Germany's finance minister has expressed a slightly different view however, saying Britain should follow the Swiss model.

    The response from European leaders was one of relief for some clarity at last after Theresa May, it seemed, put the government's position on immigration and desire to control it, above the European Union's freedom of movement principle.

    In the meantime, Germany finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble reckons the UK should consider modeling its relationship with the EU on Switzerland's and negotiate access to the EU single market through bilateral deals, involving the freedom of movement  — while at the same time ensuring Britons would receive preferential treatment in the UK jobs market over their European counterparts.

    "Britons should take as an example how cleverly Switzerland has linked national sovereignty and close cooperation with the European Union," Mr. Schaeuble told Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeiting.

    Switzerland is not a member of the European Union — but does have bilateral arrangements in place that means the freedom of movement principle can be applied to certain trading regulations which includes a policy which forces employers to consider Swiss citizens first for local jobs.

    However, it's not quite clear what the UK will do about its position in the currency union amid speculation it could look to Norway for a nod on what to do next.


    Hard Brexit: Going for Broke?
    UK Zero Tariff Desire to Check EU's Readiness to Talk Brexit Conditions - WCO
    Norway PM: Brits Lack Negotiating Experience, Should Expect ‘Very Hard Brexit’
    Theresa May Rules Out Norwegian, Swiss Model for Post-Brexit UK
    bilateral assistance, Hard Brexit, freedom of movement, Brexit, negotiations, European Union, European Union, Wolfgang Schauble, Theresa May, Germany, Britain, United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland
    Community standardsDiscussion