Swiss overwhelmingly reject 'Brexit' rhetoric in referendum on immigration

Switzerland's SVP president Marco Chiesa

Switzerland's SVP president Marco Chiesa. His party lost the referendum on proposals to rein in immigration - Credit: Twitter

An exit poll has suggested that Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected the 'Brexit' rhetoric surrounding immigration in a referendum on free movement of people from the EU.

The ruling right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) had called for the vote, which was seen as a test on the public's attitudes towards immigration.

But national broadcaster SRF predicts the public to support retaining existing rights by a margin of around 63% to 37%.

The SVP had used the pro-Brexit rhetoric of "taking back control" of immigration its in attempt to convinced the public to back its stance, insisting it would not have economic consequences.

But the opposition said it would have reduced the number of skilled workers in the country, and damaged the country's relationship with the European Union.

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The referendum could have annulled the agreement with the EU if the public had backed the ruling party's plan and negotiations over the result had failed.

Switzerland join Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein in being members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

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