SWITZERLAND has been extremely successful outside the EU at negotiating trade deals. The Alpine country managed to open markets of more than £26 trillion, an economist claimed in a book.
In 2016 book "Myth and Paradox of the Single Market: How the Trade Benefits of EU Membership Have Been Mis-sold", leading economist Michael Burrage argues that the free trade agreements concluded by the EU are not comparable to the ones of independent countries such as Switzerland.
Mr Burrage claims the Alpine country has none of the “heft” or “clout” or “negotiating leverage that the CBI and many businesses consider essential in trade negotiations”, but has performed considerably better outside the bloc.
The author explained: “In terms of the absolute size of the markets opened, in some unknown manner and degree, to freer trade in services, the EU agreements total $4.8tn.
“Whereas Swiss FTAs have opened markets of $35.8tn (£26tn) to their services exporters, which is more than seven times larger than those opened by EU negotiators.”
Mr Burrage also noted how the GDP of the countries with an EU agreement in force differed from independent countries.
He said: “Since 1970, the EC has concluded 37 agreements, most of them with small economies, some multi-country.
"The aggregate GDP in 2015 of the 55 countries with an EU agreement in force in January 2014 is $7.7tn."