UK and Switzerland boost collaboration on security and migration

epa07655321 British Secretary of State for the Home Department Sajid Javid arrives for a cabinet meeting in London, Britain, 18 June, 2019. The contest to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party which officially began on 10 June moves into it's next phase on 18 June when the Conservative Members of Parliament vote in the second round of the leadership contest. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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The UK and Switzerland have 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.

Karin Keller-Sutter switzerland.jpg
Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter

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.

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.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said that  “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.”

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

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