EU says “Hard Cheese” to Swiss Democracy
The Swiss voted in a referendum to introduce a quota system on immigration. Very democratic. Which is why the EU hates it and is treating Switzerland with contempt. There's a lesson here for Britain
Some of us remember the EU won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2012. The smug Eurocrats probably felt they deserved the prize, due to their efforts to “spread democracy” around Europe.
Yet we must never forget the EU itself is as undemocratic as many of the regimes it criticises. After all, the entire history of the European project is one of stripping democratically elected governments of their powers and handing them to a President of Europe for whom no European citizen voted.
The great irony is, while flaunting its democratic credentials, the EU actively expresses nothing but utter contempt for true democracy.
Switzerland is neither in the EU nor the EEA, but is linked to the Single Market with a series of bilateral treaties. The Swiss voted in one of their many referenda to limit EU migration and introduce a quota system.
Yet the EU treats Switzerland with contempt. Brussels is clearly displeased with the results of the referendum, so it has completely rejected the Swiss proposal to review their free movement agreement and renegotiate a new settlement, thus riding roughshod over the wishes of Switzerland’s voters.
The Swiss may have the last laugh however; the referendum has bound the government to either renegotiate the free movement deal or revoke it within three years.
A letter to Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, signed by Catherine Ashton (the EU’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy - a role created by the Treaty of Lisbon) says:
“The EU states the free movement of people is one of the EU’s fundamental principles and thus cannot be negotiated or restricted through the use of quotas."
This is a preposterous argument, given the Swiss are not in the EU and are not bound by these out-dated core principles. If the Swiss cannot manage to overcome this huge hurdle, how on earth does our Prime Minister expect to be able to limit EU migration into Britain?
As Burkhalter told the Swiss media, “It is clear that the EU fundamentally has a problem with a negotiation about the free movement agreement”. More importantly, it has a fundamental problem with the concerns of ordinary people, which are so often ignored by a European Parliament fanatically obsessed with its warped vision for Europe.
Only if we Get Britain Out of the EU will we be able to control our own borders and ensure our own Parliament serves the Great British Public instead of being a lapdog of Brussels.
Luke Stanley is Research Assistant at Get Britain Out
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