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Switzerland is not an option!

March 8, 2016 1:06 PM

A testimonial from one of our members, Daniel Jones, who is based in Switzerland:

Switzerland is often cited by Nigel Farage et al. as an argument for the 'out' camp - a 'good' model for a non EU UK. However, on closer analysis it provides us with a good illustration of the opposite point. Following a xenophobically motivated right wing referendum fuelled by immigration scaremongering, the people voted two years ago to impose quotas on immigration from the EU. So yes, they have the power to do this; but the government is in despair as it is having to renegotiate its relationship with the EU to the tune of millions of francs (leaving is more expensive!!) AND of course, as with the UK, the number of EU migrants to Switzerland is closely matched by the number of Swiss people scattered elsewhere who are all having their status questioned.
It is already causing chaos.
Swiss students immediately had their Erasmus exchange rights revoked while Swiss scientists and researchers could no longer benefit from the EU's Horizon 2020 which pools funding and knowledge across the 27 states: a whole generation of students and researchers were immediately relegated to second class status with funding and participation rates dropping off for Switzerland progressively since then. The government has had to spend vast amounts salvaging the remnants of programmes that Swiss citizens have been relying on for many years that were working perfectly well beforehand. Large numbers are already effectively unable to benefit from amazing education and experience in Italy, Spain, the UK etc….and all because of a misguided understanding of Swiss history and independence which would have us believe that this part of the world hasn't been a hub of migration for millennia.
Ring any bells??
Meanwhile the Swiss economy remains entirely beholden to decisions made by the Eurozone over which they have no influence. Switzerland is not a member of the EU and therefore has to broker complex treaties covering every walk of life to effectively simulate EU membership (as the UK would need to do) and yet its
lack of membership does not protect it in the slightest from the negative effects of initiatives like the above aimed at distancing it from its European partners.