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Plan B after Brexit – What Britain can expect negotiating a Swiss-type arrangement with the EU

By Cenni Najy, Jacqueline Breidlid (2016-06-17)

In European Policy Briefs

For those wishing to see the UK exit from the EU, Switzerland has become a poster child, an example of how a country outside the EU can retain access to the EU’s internal market, thereby flourishing economically, and yet retaining its sovereignty and independence. But can a similar arrangement to that of Switzerland really provide a suitable alternative – a “Plan B” – for the UK’s relationship with the EU? With the referendum providing potential exit for the UK from the EU rapidly approaching, a Swiss-type plan B deserves some serious consideration. This paper examines the central claims made by those who see Switzerland as a model for the UK’s future relationship with the EU and argues that the Swiss model is no Holy Grail for the UK.

(Photo credit: christoph G., Flickr)