After a hectic first month in office following the 23 June Brexit vote, new UK Prime Minister Theresa May is off on holiday and she has chosen a country outside the European Union with close ties to the bloc – Switzerland, writes Kylie MacLellan.
May, who became prime minister on 13 July, will head to Switzerland on Thursday for two weeks, her office said. It did not provide any further details of the trip.
The British leader has spoken previously of her love of walking holidays in Switzerland, a destination also favored by her German counterpart Angela Merkel.
“The views are spectacular, the air is clear and you can get some peace and quiet,” May wrote in the Telegraph newspaper in 2007.
The model of Switzerland is one Britain will be looking at closely as it seeks to determine its own future relationship with the EU following the vote to leave the bloc.
Switzerland, along with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, is a member of the European Free Trade Association.
Its goods exporters enjoy tariff-free access to EU markets while it is also free to negotiate its own trade deals with non-EU countries. It has only limited access to the EU’s services market however, and almost none for financial services — a significant contributor to the British economy.