Today, The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, announced it has approved a deal safeguarding the rights of Swiss and UK citizens after Brexit.
The agreement is part of a package of deals being worked out as part of a plan dubbed “Mind the Gap”.
Under the agreement, any UK citizen residing in Switzerland before Brexit will retain all of their existing rights for life. The same will apply to Swiss citizens living in the UK.
When the UK leaves the EU, the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU will no longer apply to the UK. The “Mind the Gap” agreement will then govern relations between the two nations.
As well as residency rights, the new agreement covers social security and the recognition of professional qualifications.
However, the agreement does not cover foreign nationals who arrive after Brexit. And, the existing rules apply until Brexit including any transition period.
Before signing the new agreement, the Federal Council will consult with relevant parliamentary commissions.
At the end of 2017, there were around 43,000 UK nationals living in Switzerland and around 34,500 Swiss citizens living in the UK.