Borse Zurich by Ikiwaner (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Image by Ikiwaner (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The Swiss were told by Eurocrats to comply with their rules, or lose EU recognition for their shares. So what did the Swiss do? And how did they fare?


Although the Swiss are not part of either the European Union or the European Economic Area, being surrounded by the EU they have made a patchwork of different agreements with the bloc over the years.

The EU was finding this all a bit complex, so its Eurocrats got busy with trying to get Switzerland to change all those agreements into one overarching partnership deal called the Institutional Framework Agreement, to ensure a more uniform and efficient governance of things like mutual market access and the movement of workers.

But the Swiss were not taken with the offer as it appeared to give too much power to the EU. It would force Switzerland to be aligned with EU single market rules and come under the scrutiny of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

So the Swiss wanted to negotiate this deal some more.

But the EU got tired of this and basically said if you haven't signed by the 1st of July then your Swiss shares will no longer be recognised as tradable on EU stock Exchanges.

So the Swiss put in place its own protective plan that stopped EU exchanges dealing in certain Swiss shares and watched the clock tick down.

Unlike what our Remain MPs want us to do, the Swiss did not blink and the bans came into force yesterday.

Now, this can of course be equated to the UK leaving the EU and the City losing equivalence, so one assumes that UK Remainers would love to see the Swiss go into meltdown as an example to Brexiteers.

So, how did it all go?

Well, according to Swissinfo, it all went rather well and quotes trader Eric Hassid of Aurel BGC saying:

"So far, so good for trading into Swiss stocks, there is no immediate impact, but we are monitoring the situation."

The article also says:

"Stocks from Nestle to Swatch Group traded without a hitch on Monday as Switzerland’s never-before-tested provisions to safeguard liquidity kicked in following a showdown with the European Union."

And the Swiss markets rose about the same as the EU.

Writing in the Telegraph, Matthew Lynn calls this whole exercise a massive own goal for the EU and he says it is an opportunity for a post Brexit UK to get together with Zurich.

Eurocrats may have thought they were being clever in trying to force Switzerland's hand – and fire a warning shot at London in the process, but the real result is that the EU is now set on a course of permanently losing the two biggest financial players in Europe, who might well decide that a joint enterprise between the two of them is the future.

Now, I hope that talks between the City and Zurich have already started and that come the 1st of November we have something really interesting up and running.

I also hope it helps to inject some starch into the backbones of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.


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