Swiss people want EU deals to stand despite referendum result

Swiss people want EU deals to stand despite referendum result

Swiss people want EU deals to stand despite referendum result

Results of a post-referendum survey released yesterday indicate that, in spite of the referendum result, three quarters of those polled want a raft of EU deals to remain.

The survey, undertaken by the Sonntags Blick newspaper, questioned 1002 Swiss nationals, with only 19 per cent of respondents saying they wanted the country to distance itself totally from the EU and a further 19 per cent undecided. A 74 per cent majority were in favour of keeping the EU agreements, which cover free movement of people, trade barriers, air traffic and much more.

Swiss voters in the referendum narrowly approved the Stop Mass Immigration campaign with 50.3 per cent, meaning that the people’s choice will be set in law. However, it’s likely that the entire package of EU/Swiss agreements will be frozen as a result of the vote.

Although not an EU member state, Switzerland’s economy is strongly tied to the European Union through trade as well as the global and European markets. Brussels is outraged at the referendum’s result, stating that Switzerland is not able to choose which deals to implement and which to ignore and adding that Swiss/EU relations will be reviewed.

Under the terms of a 1999 agreement on free movement and the 2008 Swiss entry into the Schengen Accord, if Switzerland voids the accords a ‘guillotine’ clause will be invoked,.The clause will severely impact economic and trade ties as well as damaging access to international markets and Switzerland’s agricultural sector.

Meanwhile, Swiss authorities are now refusing to sign a bilateral free movement deal negotiated with Croatia last year, saying that its current form is no longer viable. Simultaneously, the Swiss Peoples’ Party is urging the government to apply immediate limits to immigration from the eight Eastern European states whose present quotas expire in June.

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