Brexit the Movie majors on the fact that Switzerland has access to the European single market, just the same as the United Kingdom, despite not being a member of the European Union
That’s great for them!
It’s brilliant for us!
So we can leave the EU and keep the freedom to trade in the Single Market. Hurrah!
The movie failed to mention that this privilege comes with some quite serious conditions attached to it
Firstly, the Swiss have to make a monetary contribution to the EU budget.
Their contribution is only 60% of our contribution.
The big difference is that Switzerland is not a member of the EU so it has no representation and no power of veto.
We may not like some of the rules of the EU “club”, but at least we are members and we have the right to negotiate with other members to change those rules.
Poor Switzerland does not.
Secondly, they had to agree to freedom of movement between Switzerland and all EU countries. The result of this is that net immigration per head of population into Switzerland from EU countries is almost TWICE that of the United Kingdom.
The big difference is that Switzerland is not a member of the EU so it is powerless to change the rules.
It has no place at the table.
Thirdly, Switzerland has to follow all of the product rules that the EU imposes on imports. The Brexit movie talks about toasters and electric blankets and other products which must meet stringent safety regulations. That’s good. It safeguards us.
The big difference is that Switzerland is not a member of the EU so it is powerless to change the rules. It has no say in the rule-making. It just has to comply with the rules. It has not voice.
Why did Switzerland accept such huge constraints just to join the single market?
The reason is that because they had been in a ten-year deep recession.
As soon as they joined the EU single free market, growth picked up again. They started to prosper. They don’t like the rules, but their economy is much healthier than it was outside the single market.
By the way, it wasn’t the Swiss politicians who agreed to this deal. The Swiss people accepted it through a referendum.
They are doing well by it, but they don’t like the rules.
They feel that it would be much better if they were members and could influence the making of the rules.
As it stands, they gain the benefits of the free market and suffer the constraints, but they have no say in how the EU runs.
If UK leaves the EU we will still have to comply with the rules and regulations, donate to the EU budget and allow freedom of movement of migrants, but we will have no influence on the future of the organisation.
Only members of any club have a say in how it is run.
Non-members suffer the consequences of the rules, but have no voice.
Surrendering our influence would be very foolish.