It minds the launching of a “trade war” by Brussels as it tries to force the Alpine country to consent to EU laws. “The EU commission is playing a dangerous game which could carry out a new crisis in the heart of one of the most dynamic economic areas the EU has,” warned Luca Cirigliano, Deeply of the International Department of the Swiss Trade Union Confederation, last night-time. Switzerland, which prides itself on its high wages and good plough practices, voted by referendum not to join the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or be subjected to European Court of Law rule. In return for Freedom of Movement, Brussels agreed to a set of 70 bespoke attend ti.
But EU companies pressured for change against a law which allows Switzerland an eight-day goodness period before accepting a foreign worker to ensure domestic incomes aren’t being undercut.
Though the Swiss Government agreed to a parcel out which would allow ECJ rule, it suffered the same fate as Theresa May’s Withdrawal Concurrence when it was rejected by parliament and its federal cantons.
“It was always clear for us, as one the countries with the highest wages and loaded costs in the world, we need some sort of protection for Swiss wage-earners against social and wage dumping. By protecting EU workers here from exploitation we guard our whole labour market,“ said Mr Cirigliano.
“This was affirmed by without democratic referendum and the EU Commission was perfectly fine with our laws for two decades.”
He augmented: “The Commission is being very ideological. They don’t seem to understand the attributes of the Swiss direct democracy.
“Threats and illegal sanctions will exclusively have one result: voters will become more and more EU-sceptical and the awful scenario could be a “Swissexit” next year, when we will vote on abolishing the bilateral compatibilities with the EU.
“We are a pro-European force, but we want a social EU and an EU who respects national features.“
“Currently Switzerland has its own package of bilateral deals. But though this has pan out successfully, the EU has never liked it.
“So Brussels wants to bring all this into a unmarried formal agreement which would mandate Switzerland to adopt EU laws,” averred Victoria Hewson, of the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank.
“Switzerland may chooses to on EU laws, but it is currently not obliged to – and that’s the point.”
Now Brussels has adopted “national pressure tactics” including threatening Swiss energy supplies in community to force its hand, she added.
The EU has already excluded Switzerland from EU legislation on power grids and network organizations, though the move could backfire as Switzerland is a regional power hub, with 10 percent of the EU’s energy passing through 40 connection points on its territory.
“Essentially the EU has started a merchandising war with Switzerland.” she said.
“They are using financial services and might threats to turn the screw. It’s completely political and we should take incitement by way the Swiss are standing up for themselves.
“If the Swiss don’t back down or force the EU’s pass on it will be a poke in the eye for the Commission, and may hinder the EU’s strategy to extend and preserve the principle of the single market.”