It has been reported that demand is growing in Switzerland for a nationwide referendum on the country’s ‘unique’ relationship with the European Union as a result of growing levels of anger with the actions of Brussels.
While many people are saying that the ‘Brexit effect’ is simply a myth, it cannot be denied that the knock-on result of June 2016’s UK vote is that more and more countries are realising that it is acceptable to be highly sceptical of the Brussels club.
According to a report in The Express:
SWITZERLAND has dealt the European Union a major blow as the outgoing president called for a referendum over the country’s relationship with the bloc.
President Doris Leuthard said a referendum was needed to sort out how the nation worked with the European Union.
Ms Leuthard said: “The bilateral path is important. We must therefore clarify our relationship with Europe. We have to know in which direction to go.
“Therefore a fundamental referendum would be helpful.”
Switzerland has a unique relationship with the EU.
While it is not a member of the EU it is part of the Schengen zone and has numerous bilateral agreements with the bloc.
Brussels and Bern are working to cement the relationship with an overall deal but talks hit problems this week with the EU only offering limited access to stock exchanges which angered Swiss officials who threatened to retaliate.
Ms Leuthard told the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick: “We can strengthen the co-operation with India and China, but the EU remains central.
“We need a mechanism and regulated relationship with the EU. That would also prevent political games like we are witnessing at the moment.”
The omens don’t look good for the EU at the moment.
Not only are people within the block calling for the whole project to collapse, but now there are those on the outside who are questioning just how effective it really is!
Government releases statement as 20,000 sign petition for 0.7% GDP Foreign Aid budget to be ABOLISHED
More than 20,000 people have signed a petition to abolish the 0.7% GDP foreign aid target.
The government has released a statement as 20,000 people sign an online petition ruging them to decrease the foreign aid budget.
The government said:
“Our aid commitment – which is enshrined in law – increases Britain’s global influence and allows us to shape the world around us which is firmly in the UK’s national interest.
Investing less than one percent of our national income in aid is creating a safer, healthier and more prosperous world. it is firmly in the UK’s and humanity’s interests.
Global challenges like mass migration, disease, terrorism and war have no respect for national borders. If we stand back from this fight we are not only abandoning our moral responsibilities, we are allowing other countries’ problems to come closer to our shores. Eradicating deadly diseases like Ebola protects us here at home, the provision of education and economic opportunities around the world can stem migration. And we have a moral obligation to help nations rife with poverty and poor health.
Advancing economic development in the world’s poorest countries is a hallmark of a Global Britain. Investing in the growth of companies in Africa and South Asia creates the jobs and economic stability that lead to global security and help end aid dependency, as well as driving better value for money for UK taxpayers and rates of return on investment.
Life-changing progress comes from growth that transforms economies; that creates productive jobs and private sector investment; and that spreads benefits and opportunities right across society.
As we leave the EU we will build on our strong record as a champion of trade and development.
We are securing existing duty-free access to UK markets for the world’s poorest and providing new opportunities to increase trade links and grow economies to help end poverty, while supporting jobs and businesses in the UK too. We are also working with a broader range of partners, including smaller charities in the UK, to get the best of British expertise.
We are harnessing the energy of the UK science and technology sectors, using cutting-edge technology to transform the way we do development and new vaccines to wipe out disease. We are leaving no-one behind, including by putting disability at the heart of our agenda.
The UK is using its leadership to challenge other nations to deliver on their commitments.
DFID is committed to spending every single penny of its aid budget wisely and without waste.
We have introduced tough new reforms of its aid spending to deliver value for money, including clamping down on the risk of unethical practices by suppliers, holding aid organisations to account by tying funding to performance, closing programmes which fail to meet development objectives, and increasing efficiency savings.
The UK has also secured important progress at the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) meetings in Paris to change the international aid rules and ensure they remain relevant for the modern world.
We will continue to use our leadership to challenge other nations to deliver on their commitments.
Department for International Development”
What do you think of their response?