Switzerland can expect all of its treaties with the EU to be reviewed after voting for tighter immigration controls, according to the president of the European Parliament.
Swiss voters on Sunday approved a curb on immigration and a return of strict quotas by a majority of 50.3%.
The result means Switzerland must now renegotiate its free movement of people treaty with the European Union
The full impact of this and how badly relations with the EU have been damaged has yet to play out.
President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said Switzerland could not expect to pick and choose which agreements it kept with the EU.
“We should stay level-headed” said Schulz, adding “but one thing is clear: you can’t take advantage of a big European internal market and stay outside in other questions at the same time. This is what we have to discuss with Switzerland now.”
Schulz went on to say that there may now have to be bilateral border controls and that the renegotiation of the free movement contract “could affect the Swiss population and their free movement in the EU as well.”
Meanwhile European leaders will be watching their own countries’ response with immigration high on the agenda for many.
In Britain, Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party was quick to congratulate the Swiss on having the “freedom to decide the number and skill level of who they wish to invite to work or stay in their country”.
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