The Swiss have just passed a referendum to limit EU migration and impose quotas on ‘freedom of movement’, which Switzerland enjoys despite being outside the EU because of bilateral treaties with the Union. The result is something Eurosceptics should welcome, it represents another major blow to the EU’s prestige and credibility. It comes as Laszlo Andor hit out at David Cameron for ‘pandering to prejudice’ and labelled Britain’s attempts to curb migration from Bulgaria and Romania an ‘overreaction’.
Today in CityAM, Allister Heath said the referendum result ‘may even be remembered as the day the whole European project went into reverse.’ Some commentators think the referendum will trigger a wave of European countries within the EU imposing their own curbs on freedom of movement. The unexpected result came despite an ‘alarmist’ campaign from Swiss business and mainstream parties in opposition to curbs on freedom of movement. Diplomatic relations between EU and the Swiss have been thrown into chaos because the result breaches the bilateral treaties between them. Now those treaties have to be renegotiated from scratch.
It is certainly a fine example of Swiss direct democracy. The people wanted to change their country’s relationship with the EU, and they got what they wanted. Their political system responded quickly and without any fuss. By comparison, the reluctance of our political classes to give the Great British Public a say is a sad reminder of our vassalage to Brussels.
Acting Campaign Manager