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The Swiss are preparing for the EU cold after dropping talks on the market

In Brussels there was fear and anger. In Switzerland, the celebration of peace and relaxation – but, for some, they are skeptical of what will happen next.

On Wednesday, Bern announced it was legal away from negotiations Establishing future relations with the EU into a single “partnership” – a temporary exchange that has been closely linked to Brussels since 2014.

“You can’t sign a deal like this in business,” said Philip Erzinger, chief executive of Kompass Europe, an opposition group. “It was one-sided. It made us follow EU rules with no way of saying no. It would be a direct disruption in our democratic process with the cantons in Switzerland.”

For critics of this method, the moment was similar to the UK referendum terminate its membership of the bloc – Swexit, of any kind.

There are similarities. Switzerland has never been to the EU and refused to become a member of the European Economic Area during the 1992 referendum.

However, through an agreement between the 120, it has access to the EU internal market and is a member of the passport-free movement. It also has a strong connection to the bloc that revolves around many economic and legal issues.

However, without an agreement the EU will not change or adjust the system of the two countries if it changes its rules. As a result, the Swiss have gradually lost opportunities, creating uncertainty for businesses and residents.

Switzerland is the fourth largest trading partner in the EU. More than 1.4m EU and UK citizens live in Switzerland. And about 330,000 people cross the Swiss border each day, according to cultural officials.

This idea became a major victory for the Swiss party of the Swiss people, SVP, which has been fighting against Switzerland all the way to Brussels.

For the most part, however, in Switzerland on Thursday morning, unlike in Britain on June 24 five years ago, there was little idea of ​​a recent political earthquake.

“To be honest I did not know what would happen to our business,” said Hugo Roppel, chief executive of Geneva Logistics Group, a Swiss pilot in Geneva. “The simplest thing would be to say that we want Europe and that Europe wants Switzerland… I think it is important for everyone to calm down first and then negotiations may resume.

According to Martin Janssen, chief executive of a Zurich-based investment company in Ecofin, Switzerland should be “allowed to be different”. The agreement did not provide for this, he said.

After seven years of confusing negotiations, many Swiss are enjoying the opportunity to move forward.

The country’s largest newspapers have strongly supported federal council elections. “Even though there was all the sadness [one might have] to address the limited number of countries that have caused so much war in Europe, it is not necessary to sign anything Brussels wants, ”Tages-Anzeiger, a left-wing journalist, wrote.

Lukas Golder, GFS Bern’s senior research director for Bern, said this was probably common for most Swiss people.

There has been significant support for intimate relations with the EU, he said, but he believes more is being done. Many Swiss people also expect Brussels to come to Bern’s B-system – the so-called “co-operative system” – in which the existing alliance can be negotiated individually.

“People believe that Switzerland was very weak compared to the EU. But there are also very high expectations for other things,” Golder said.

Erzinger, an opponent of the agreement, said the EU would eventually return to the negotiating team. In the meantime, Switzerland must endure “the coldest weather, when you feel the cold from Brussels”, he said. But unlike Brexit, it can also go back to “treaties that have allowed us to breathe without fear.”

Diplomats warn that optimism is flawed. The EU’s main objective in seeking “one” agreement with Switzerland was to reduce its international coverage as much as possible, or to eliminate the possibility of retention.

In the meantime, other important agreements are being met soon as terrorists take office. To illustrate how difficult this can be, the Swiss federation said on Thursday in a statement that it had already begun taking precautionary measures – such as stockpiling medical equipment.

Avenir Suisse, EU thinker in Zurich, counting Losing the partnership between the Swiss-EU and medical equipment, the industrial and pharmaceutical machinery can reimburse a single SFr1.7bn ($ 1.9bn) and reimburse SFr1.3bn annually to Swiss companies in those regions alone.

Teresa Hug Alonso, a researcher at Avenir Suisse, says the federation, which works in unison, has failed to present to the Swiss people any problems with the law.

It ended the negotiations for political reasons instead of being without public support, he said. Recent polls suggest that the referendum on the agreement would be completed with 60% support.

The SVP is the only opposition party in the EU, but some are very similar in Europe. The Social Democrats, for example, were strongly opposed to measures that could undermine the security of workers in Switzerland and the issue became a red line.

Switzerland is now facing the prospect of a gradual collapse of its economic relations with the EU. But it would not be a disaster for one of the world’s richest nations, admitted Hug Alonso.

“We are not talking about big changes. I have a seizure. That is the problem. It does not attract interest in Switzerland due to its desire to negotiate new ones with the EU. ”

Additional reports of Domitille Alain in Paris

This article has been adapted to set the date for the 2016 UK referendum results

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