New round of strategic dialogue between Switzerland and UK

Press releases, 13.11.2023

On Monday, 13 November 2023, State Secretary Alexandre Fasel travelled to London for the annual strategic dialogue between Switzerland and the United Kingdom. He met with Christian Turner, political director, and Peter Wilson, director general for Europe, at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. The discussions centred on the intensive and diverse bilateral relations between Switzerland and the UK, current international affairs, and European matters. The primary objective of the discussions was to enhance political, economic and scientific cooperation between the two nations.

In line with the declaration of intent signed by the president of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, in April 2022, Switzerland and the UK have resolved to bolster their bilateral relations and their collaboration in international bodies. High-level meetings are now held annually. Today's consultations included a wide-ranging exchange on economic, financial and trade relations, as Switzerland and the UK are negotiating an update of their free trade agreement and a mutual recognition agreement in the field of financial services. The two delegations engaged in detailed discussions on matters pertaining to mobility and migration. The talks also addressed scientific cooperation: one year after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in this area, collaboration has been particularly strengthened in the life sciences, quantum computing and space.

The discussions also covered important European and international matters, in particular the Middle East conflict and its regional repercussions. The two delegations shared their perspectives on the implications of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, and reviewed their actions in support of Ukraine. In this context, they exchanged views on the role of the European Political Community and European security. Lastly, they discussed multilateral cooperation, with a particular focus on the UN Security Council, where Switzerland currently serves as an elected non-permanent member. Development policy, conflict resolution, and the fight against climate change were also on the agenda.

These annual meetings allow Switzerland and the UK to strengthen their bilateral relations and explore potential avenues to develop them further.  Since the conclusion of the transition period agreed between the UK and the EU on 1 January 2021, provisions that were previously covered by agreements with the EU are now governed by a series of bilateral agreements.

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–United Kingdom

Address for enquiries:

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs