Bern is hoping to ramp up research with London as its relationship with Brussels starts to disintegrate after their failed talks to strike up a permanent economic deal. Swiss leaders don’t believe “dogmatic” eurocrats are willing budge on their final three demands, making a deal being reached this year highly unlikely. The deadlocked talks have left relationships with Brussels, who blocked EU-based investors from trading on Swiss exchanges, strained over the summer.
Failure to strike a permanent treaty could also see Swiss researchers blocked from the single market.
Economy minister Guy Parmelin said this could lead the country’s top scientists to turn to new markets, including Britain after Brexit.
He said: “I think the EU would weaken itself, it no longer cooperated with Switzerland on research.
“We are then forced to seek alternatives, perhaps along with Britain, if the EU remains dogmatic.”
Mr Parmelin proceeded to pour cold water over suggestions that Switzerland is going to recommend that Britain joins the European Free Trade Association, which also includes Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, after Brexit.
“I have not heard that this is needed by Britain,” he said.
“If Britons want that, we will review it, but I believe it would be risky.
“Given its size, Britain would dominate the rest of EFTA.”3
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