The Swiss have been attempting to negotiate treaty terms with the EU. In light of the Brexit vote, the Swiss find themselves at the back of the line when it comes to priorities for EU leadership. The Brexit will also have immediate financial impacts that Swissinfo.ch details here:
Britain has decided to leave the European Union. The immediate effects for Switzerland include a strengthening franc, Swiss National Bank intervention and a government helpline for concerned citizens and businesses. In the long term, sorting out a free movement deal with Bern has dropped far down the list of priorities for Brussels.
In a final result on Friday morning, the “leave” side won 51.89% of the vote and the “remain” side 48.11%.
The Swiss foreign ministry immediately announced a helpline had been set up for Swiss citizens and businesses wanting to know what Brexit could mean for them: 0800 247 365 in Switzerland (free) and 0041 800 247 365 from abroad (charge incurred).
“The current regulations regarding Swiss citizens and companies will remain valid for the time being and nothing will change immediately,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday. “There is, however, a high level of demand for information from Swiss citizens in Switzerland and abroad.”
Swiss stocks fell sharply and the franc increased in strength as the vote result reverberated around the markets.
An additional concern for the Swiss cabinet is that it was hoping to reach an agreement with the EU on curbing immigration in the near future – it has a February 2017 deadline – but following the Brexit decision, Switzerland will be the least of the EU’s worries for several years while Brussels and London negotiate their divorce.