Switzerland participated in the negotiations of the EEA agreement with the EU and signed it on 2 May 1992 and applied for EU membership on 20 May 1992. In a Swiss referendum on 6 December 1992, membership of the EEA was rejected. Subsequently, the Swiss government suspended EU accession negotiations until further notice. By ratifying the second round of bilateral agreements, the Federal Council in 2006 lowered the characterisation of Switzerland`s full adherence to a « strategic objective » to an « option ». Membership continued to be the government`s objective and a « long-term goal » of the Federal Council until 2016, when Switzerland`s request, which had been frozen, was withdrawn.   The request was adopted in June by the Council of States and then by the Bundesrat.    In a letter dated 27 July, the Federal Council informed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union that it was withdrawing its request.  On the first issue, the free trade agreement, the agricultural agreement and the processed agricultural products agreement address all tariff issues. Switzerland has a free trade area with the EU and EEA/EFTA members, which means there are no tariffs between the members of that area.
The seven agreements are closely linked by their entry into force at the same time and no longer apply simultaneously six months after receiving a notification of non-renewal or termination of one of them.  The United Kingdom has signed a transport agreement with Switzerland. The agreement guarantees that UK carriers will be able to continue to operate in Switzerland with a EU licence as soon as the agreement comes into force. This is called the « guillotine clause. » While the bilateral approach theoretically guarantees the right to refuse the application of the new EU rules to Switzerland, the clause limits the scope of application in practice. The agreement on the European Economic Area contains a similar clause. You can use online tools that trade with the UK and check how you can export goods to check product and country-specific information on tariffs and current rules for trading goods in the UK. These tools are regularly updated to reflect changes. In addition to trade in goods, the new agreements often address other aspects, including the protection of intellectual property rights, trade in services, investment, public procurement and technical regulations.