Imagine the people of Switzerland writing a collective letter to the people of the European Union. Ten days after the vote on capping immigration, what would they say? Here’s one possible epistle:
First of all let us make it clear that we don’t hate you, but we do find it hard to live next to you. Surrounded by you, in fact. So to help us get along better, we thought it might be useful to say what we want from our relationship.
- We want to be free and independent
- We want to have our own currency
- We want your money in our banks
- We want our goods in your shops
- We want your research grants for our universities
- We want our students to be able to go to your universities
- We want your votes at Eurovision
- We want our votes to be recognised unconditionally
- We want your trucks to pay to use our tunnels and trains
- We want our airlines to have access to your skies
- We want to have tariff-free access to the single market
- We want to be in Europe not part of it
But we don’t want you. At least not so many of you, and only for those jobs that we can’t or won’t do ourselves. We know we’re going back on the pre-nuptial agreements we signed but that’s life. Things change, mainly our minds. We don’t expect you to understand us but we do expect you to accept our decision without any fuss.
Looking forward to seeing you soon, hopefully during your next holiday here.
50.3% of the Swiss population
PS If you do come and visit, bring your own cake as we’re having ours and eating it.