Whether the British #Government will invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on the 10 September (the day after the appointment of his or her new Prime Minister), or much later - if ever, will change little. The focus has already moved to Switzerland. Like Norway and Iceland, Switzerland enjoy the rights and obligations of an agreement with the EU. It is similar to the member countries of the European Economic Area, but to a lesser extent. The contribution to the EU budget is less and national preference for access to the labor market is maintained.
The main sticking point in Swiss-EU negotiations.
The latter is now the main sticking point in Swiss-EU negotiations which will continue through this summer until the February 2017 deadline. Extending the derogation to the free movement of persons for Switzerland would provide the EU an argument with the British in any future negotiations.
If this crucial point is not resolved, a global breakdown (or rather partial a partial breakdown) of the agreement could intervene. But Switzerland exports between 55 and 56% of its goods and services to countries of the the current Union and its associates - which is not of small value for the country of Switzerland.
A pre-warning for the UK ?
The EU could, for example, raise tariffs and Switzerland could perhaps work on a compromise and seek, as did the United Kingdom, a restriction of openness to social benefits for citizens of EU countries and the European Economic Area. This would be necessary as the EEA allows for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the internal market of the European Union. But the European position with regard to Switzerland has already hardened in regard to academic exchange and scientific cooperation. Could this be perceived to be a pre-warning for the UK?
In the wake of the Swiss referendum "against mass immigration" of February 2014, the EU slashed its subsidies to scientists, Swiss innovative companies, and for the Erasmus exchanges. We can therefore understand why British students and academics voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.