The result of the Swiss referendum - narrowly approving restrictions on free movement of people from the European Union – presents a big dilemma for the administrations in both Bern and Brussels. The Swiss now have the massive headache of trying to renegotiate their painstakingly constructed deals with the EU – a large and angry partner. The EU has to decide how to strike the balance between indulgence and punishment, in responding to the Swiss.
Having just listened to the vice-president of the European Commission, Viviane Reding, speaking on the radio, it seems likely to me that the EU will take the punitive route. But that, I think, would be a mistake. Read more