Swiss voters have voted to re-introduce immigration quotas, including for EU citizens. Here are 6 things you need to know about the vote:
1. This wasn’t the first time Switzerland voted to cap immigration. All previous initiatives had though failed.
2. The result of yesterday’s vote - the Yes vote won by 19,516 votes. You can find a canton-by-canton breakdown of all three votes held today in Switzerland here.
3. Turnout was 56.5%, among the highest in recent votes.
4. The vote was split down linguistic divides, with all French-speaking cantons voting against the initiative, and almost all German-speaking areas voting in favour. In the Canton of Zug, the difference between No (50.06%) and Yes was 50 votes. The vote furthermore reflected an urban vs rural split, and interestingly the support for quotas tended to be higher in areas with lower immigration. One exception being Italian-speaking Ticino, where the Yes vote won around 70% of preferences.
5. Reactions were divided:
6. The Swiss electorate had voted three times before on the free movement of people. In May 2000, it approved a first bilateral deal with the EU and with it the free movement accord. In 2005 and 2009, voters approved the extension of the treaty to new EU member countries. Switzerland will now have to renegotiate its deal with the EU on free movement of people within 3 years or revoke it. It is worth remembering that EU-Swiss agreements are linked in legal terms by a so-called “guillotine clause”, which stipulates that they can only take effect together: if one of the agreements were not to be prolonged or terminated, the others would also cease to have effect.