With its limitation initiative, the Swiss government would have had to curb immigration to the Confederation and negotiate an end to the previous freedom of movement regulations with the EU within one year.
But according to the outcome, the so-called Schwexit is now off the table for the time being. The Swiss television broadcaster SRF spoke of a “clear result”. Campaign leader and SVP National Councilor Esther Friedli was nonetheless combative: “The topic of immigration will continue to occupy us a lot, including asylum policy.” The SVP will continue to work to ensure that Switzerland controls immigration.
SVP party president Marco Chiesa spoke of a “fight between David and Goliath”, with his party fighting over the issue of limiting immigration. The presumed result of the vote is also a consequence of the Corona pandemic, said Chiesa. Many Swiss also wanted the influx to stop growing indefinitely, but the population was unsettled because of the economic downturn caused by the Corona crisis.
In the 1990s, Switzerland and the EU negotiated several bilateral agreements which, on the one hand, provide for Swiss companies to access the EU market. Swiss citizens are also allowed to settle in or study in EU countries, but in return this is also possible for citizens from EU member states in Switzerland.
Approximately 8,6 million people live in Switzerland, more than 2,1 million of whom are foreigners. Of these, around 1,5 million come from the EU as well as Great Britain, Norway and Lichtenstein. The SVP had spoken out in its initiative against a ten million Switzerland.