Readers will recall that on 9th February 2014 the people of Switzerland, exercising their right via a referendum, voted albeit narrowly to curb immigration.
From Swissinfo we learn: The Swiss cabinet has announced it wants to limit immigration from the European Union with a safeguard clause as part of its efforts to implement an initiative approved by voters in February 2014. In the event that it is unable to reach agreement with the EU, the cabinet has instructed the justice ministry to draft a dispatch on a unilateral safeguard clause which will take effect if immigration reaches a certain threshold. This dispatch should be ready by the beginning of March 2016.
Readers wil also recall that Switzerand’s bi-lateral accords contains a guillotine clause which states that if one agreement ‘falls’, then they all ‘fall’; with the EU warning such, threatening to use said clause if Bern voids the free movement accord, impacting agreements covering trade and economic ties, market access, and agricultural produce and several others.
What is interesting is a report in Russia Today which quotes Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter: If there is really no solution, we would be ready for a suspension of a part or all of the bilateral agreements.
What is a tad ironic is that while the European Union is content to remind Switzerland that the principle of free movement of people is inviolable currently they are considering longer term border checks by means of invoking Article 26 of the Schengen Agreement (source).
One to watch, methinks.
AfterthoughtL In respect of the heading to this article, I would like to think that the Swiss possess both mouth and trousers.