UK and Switzerland boost collaboration on security and migration

Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter shake hands after signing an agreement to continue cooperation on internal security post-Brexit.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid (R) and Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter (L) signed an agreement to continue cooperation on internal security post-Brexit.

The UK and Switzerland have today (Wednesday 10 July) signed an agreement committing to continue their work in tackling cross-border crime and terrorism after Brexit.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with his Swiss counterpart agreeing to build on an already strong relationship.

The MoU was co-signed by Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter during her visit to the UK, where she also met with Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and Justice Secretary David Gauke.

The agreement sets out the two countries’ commitment to continue to work closely on areas such as counter-terrorism and financial crime, while also looking to increase information sharing and closer working between police forces.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Terror knows no borders, which is why we must cooperate closely with our strongest allies to tackle the worst forms of criminal activity after Brexit.

Switzerland is a key security partner for the UK and this agreement is a sign of our unconditional commitment to contributing to Europe’s security.

The UK and Switzerland already work closely on internal security, on a bilateral basis and through international channels.

The National Crime Agency and Swiss Federal Police fedpol work closely to tackle joint threats including cybercrime, child sexual exploitation, firearms and money laundering. Intelligence on live investigations is regularly shared between Swiss law enforcement and law enforcement partners around the UK.

The MoU signals a joint intention to reinforce and build upon this cooperation in future.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay also met with Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter as the pair signed the transitional migration agreement, which would apply in a no-deal scenario with the EU. The Agreement would allow people from the UK and Switzerland to continue to apply for jobs and work in each other’s countries until December 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said:

While our priority remains leaving the EU with a deal, we have always been clear that we will do all we can to guarantee the rights of citizens in any scenario.

This agreement allowing British and Swiss expats to work in each other’s countries until the end of 2020 is the latest practical example of us making sure that happens.

In February 2019, both countries also signed an agreement aimed at safeguarding the existing rights of UK nationals living in Switzerland and Swiss nationals living in the UK at the time of our exit from the EU. The February agreement also regulates social security claims and the recognition of professional qualifications and these rights are valid for life.

The arrangements on mutual access to labour markets were previously announced in April but were formalised in London today.

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