Swiss president says open to discussions on Britain joining EFTA

November 21, 2016 11:28 AM EST

Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann smiles as he attends a welcome ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido


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GENEVA (Reuters) - Switzerland's president said on Monday his country would consider letting Britain join the European Free Trade Association when it eventually leaves the European Union following June's Brexit referendum.

"I told my colleagues if the U.K. approaches EFTA to explore the possibility of joining EFTA, Switzerland would be open to discussions," Johann Schneider-Ammann told the Geneva Press Club after an EFTA ministerial meeting.

Another solution would be a free trade agreement between Britain and EFTA - the organization which includes Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, Schneider-Ammann said.

A country-to-country arrangement could also be considered, Schneider-Ammann said. "Switzerland has all interest in avoiding a legal void when the UK leaves the EU," he said. "Therefore all possibilities are open."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, writing by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)



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