Switzerland is preparing for a final round of negotiations with the European Union on immigration in the 13 days following the U.K. vote on EU membership, Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported, without saying how it got the information.
Switzerland’s chief negotiator with the EU, Jacques de Watteville, informed the government on Wednesday about his plan for talks on limiting the number of EU newcomers to the country, the newspaper said. Several rounds of negotiations are planned for after June 23, the day of the U.K. referendum, to produce a solution by July 6, when Swiss state secretary for migration Mario Gattiker is scheduled to meet with his EU counterpart Richard Szostak, according to the paper.
The Swiss government is trying to sort out a dispute over immigration with the 28-country bloc without annulling a treaty that would cost the Swiss economy an estimated 32 billion francs ($32 billion) a year. The negotiations follow a 2014 referendum in which Swiss citizens backed an initiative to impose limits on immigration. In February, Switzerland voted against deporting foreigners convicted of crimes, which could have thwarted negotiations after an agreement seemed to have inched closer last year.