Switzerland may cancel free-movement accord with EU as immigration rises

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Immigration into Switzerland rose again last year, taking the foreign population further above 2 million.

Statistics released on Friday showed net immigration of citizens from the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) rose by nearly 31,000 people in 2018, marginally more than in 2017.

Overall immigration – which is steered by quotas for other foreigners and temporary limits on some Balkan members of the EU – increased 2.9 percent to nearly 55,000 people.

The Swiss People’s Party and anti-EU AUNS group are readying a new binding referendum under the Swiss system of direct democracy.

It would cancel the free-movement accord with the EU if talks to end the practice do not bear fruit within a year.

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