Big change is in the wind. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but has to this date abided by the Schengen Agreement on freedom of travel across European borders. Now, as Pat Buchanan explains, Switzerland wants to be rid of Schengen—and any more immigration. As Pat continues, populist parties all over Europe have heard the message and will call for referendums of their own. Pat concludes by asking how would Americans vote on a timeout for all immigration. How would Americans vote, if given chance, to repudiate our political elite?
In a referendum backed by the Swiss People’s Party, a clear majority voted to impose quotas on all immigration, even from other European nations.
Though Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it has signed the Schengen Agreement on freedom of travel across European borders. Now it wants to be rid of Schengen — and any more immigration.
The Swiss vote was not just a shocker for the champions of “one Europe.” It has given a tremendous boost to the populist parties on the continent. Hailing the Swiss vote, many are demanding similar referendums in their own countries.
Nigel Farage, head of the U.K. Independence Party, which wants a referendum to quit the EU entirely and is pressuring the Tories of David Cameron, hailed the referendum.
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, is praising the “great courage” of the Swiss and has launched a petition drive to put a referendum on the ballot in France.
“Similar calls have come from the Dutch Freedom party leader Geert Wilders, who is ahead in several recent polls; the Austrian Freedom party, which showed strong gains in September’s national elections; the Danish People’s party … and Sweden’s Democratic party,” writes the Financial Times.
In Norway, the Progress Party, which is part of the government, is demanding a referendum on immigration.
What makes the Swiss vote explosive is that it comes three months before the May elections for the European Parliament, in which anti-EU parties were already expected to make strong gains.
If these Euroskeptic parties can fold into their campaigns for the European Parliament their campaigns for a national vote to restrict immigration, they could make dramatic gains, and send a shock wave across Europe and a message to the world that Europeans are rejecting the future being planned for them.