Monday, 10 February 2014

Direct democracy doesn't care what business or Government thinks

Which is why we won't get it in the UK, just more Strictly Come fcuking Dancing and other shiny shiny, look over here shit. 

Anywhose; passed by 50.3% Switzerland has decided to tear up the bilateral free movement treaty it has with the EU and impose quotas for EU immigrants (there are already non EU quotas). The measure, which doesn’t specify how high those quotas should be, passed by fewer than 20,000 ballots in a national vote yesterday (Sunday). The government has three years to impose new rules, which will primarily affect workers from the EU, many of them highly qualified (like me FFS!). 

To be fair to the Swiss, (and while there is definitely a fair bit of “well we just hate people with a sun tan”) I get the impression that the border cantons, Ticino/ Schaffhausen etc are a bit fed up with the watchmakers bussing Germans and Italians across the border daily for what are poor Swiss wages but quite good Italian or German wages. Of course the French bit is all for this because it has sour grapes that those cantons generally always got a kicking from Bern and were only grudgingly let into the Confederation in the first place. As such they don’t like the rich German parts and their imported smart people that keep them rich. 

It will be interesting to see how the EU responds to this. By interesting, I mean, how dickishly. The consensus being that the EU might take the chance to be difficult, to try to show that “leaving” the EU (even if you are not really in it at all) is a bad idea, especially when you have no ports and all your exports have to go across the border into the EU (unless you export to both of the permanent residents of Liechtenstein I guess).

Possibly time for the UK, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland and the Nordics to actually put their heads together for once. Since they all have the same complaints against Germany and France. 


Votefor said...

The Swiss aint stupid , their franc is ludicrously overvalued to the rest of Europe and this is an easy way of revaluing without buying more doomed Euro or even pounds/dollars. I wish we had people in charge who looked after our interests as well. Do the Swiss have an aristocracy?

Kj said...

Re: being landlocked, I think I read something somewhere that the law of the seas I think prohibits refusing passage to and from landlocked countries. But I digress. I think the yodlers are going to get away with this as well as many other diversions from EU policy. And while not totally agreeing that this is a good policy, good for them. Maybe it's the banks, maybe it's the lecitimacy in popular voting, maybe they've called the EU threats, who knows.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Vf, no of course not, they've never had an aristocracy or a king; they don't even have a government; they get rich people to live in their country by giving them the option of paying LVT instead of income tax; the streets are clean and car drivers stop for pedestrians; they give out heroin on prescription.

And you can still smoke in pubs. They must be doing something right.

Kj, the Swiss have always got away with it, dunno why. They nicked all the Jewish gold and got away with that as well.

neil craig said...

And the Netherlands since a just released report says they would be £8 K better off per family and have real growth prospects if they left (just like us).