Brexit Blues? Not for the Swiss

Source:  The Financialist

Not everyone thinks the Brexit vote will do more harm than good. The Swiss, for example, believe the referendum might actually work in their favor. Fifty-five percent of those polled in Credit Suisse’s Worry Barometer 2016, an annual survey that explores the nation’s concerns, said Brexit would have positive consequences for the Swiss economy, while another 54 percent believed it would help ongoing negotiations with Europe over immigration rules.

Those negotiations were precipitated by a 2014 referendum in which a slim majority of the Swiss electorate voted in favor of implementing immigration quotas by February 2017, a move that would break existing bilateral treaties with the European Union that guarantee the free movement of European citizens across Swiss borders. And breaking one treaty breaks them all, putting Swiss access to the single market at risk.

Some have said that Brexit will make negotiations harder, since the EU will be wary of setting precedent ahead of its negotiations with the U.K. Others believe the newly aligned interests of the U.K. and Switzerland might make it easier for the United Kingdom to join the European Free Trade Association, which currently includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Interestingly, the survey shows that the hopeful Swiss perspective crosses party lines. Even politics isn’t always political.

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